The Case for Making Green Buildings Available to Lower-Income Workers

Original Article

May 7, 2020

As COVID-19 crisis has spread across the country, it’s becoming increasingly clear that restaurant workers, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, repair guys, and medical workers are getting hit especially hard.

“If you look around the country, now more than ever, people who ave the most needs are the ones repairing critical infrastructure,” says Dr. Aaron Bernstein, USGBC board chair and also the co-director of Harvard’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment. “These are not necessarily glamorous jobs.”

In addition to being put in harm’s way daily, many of these workers are going back to homes or buildings that would benefit the most from green upgrades, according to Bernstein.

“I think one thing that this epidemic made clear is how critically important it is that we all work to make sure that green building isn’t just for the well off,” Bernstein says.

The altruistic argument is that building green is the right thing to do for lower-income workers. But there is also another reason to do it…

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