Traverse City Nonprofit Earns National Recognition For Eco-Frien - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Traverse City Nonprofit Earns National Recognition For Eco-Friendly Housing

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A Traverse City nonprofit is earning some national recognition for their work with families and the environment.

Representatives from the Traverse City Habitat For Humanity return from Atlanta, Georgia this week after presenting their Net zero neighborhood at the 2017 Habitat Global Conference,

Traverse City Habitat For Humanity is one of just two habitat affiliates in the nation invited to present at this year’s conference about their Net Zero Depot Neighborhood.

Habitat For Humanity Communications Coordinator, Austin Jenness explains, “Net zero energy really means that we on purpose built these homes in an efficient way using energy efficient materials.”

Jenness continues that presenting at the conference isn’t a small notion, “It's a big deal in the world of Habitat for Humanity. Affiliates from all over the nation come and really it was just a great opportunity for us to share about the way we're kind of leading the industry the net zero industry.”

At the daylong session, they talked about how features like the neighborhood's solar panels benefit home owners like Jodi Packer, economically and environmentally.

“Being able to be in this house has been a tremendous blessing,” says Jodi.

“Habitat has 0% mortgages and so just being able to have that for our family, it makes it so our mortgage is a lot more affordable.”

Cutting energy bills makes a big difference for the families living here.

Jodi was proud to represent her neighborhood, showing a photo of many of the kids who live there during the conference; “What I loved about it is it just spoke so much into what this used to be is just a field, and now it's a community where the kids are thriving.”

Providing a safe place to live, while keeping costs low and saving energy, Jenness says net zero housing is the future of Habitat For Humanity and you'll be seeing a lot more of them, “We hope that other habitat affiliates, whether it's other ones from Michigan or states near and far, we hope that they'll look at this project and see the ways that we're really benefiting the home owner.”

Habitat For Humanity is breaking ground on the final two homes in the neighborhood April 20.