State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

State College Community Land Trust Receives $450,000 to Build Green-Technology Duplex

by on June 07, 2017 11:06 AM

State College Community Land Trust has received a $100,000 grant and $350,000 construction loan from West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to help build an affordable duplex equipped with green energy technology in the borough.

"Project funding from WPPSEF enables our Land Trust to expand affordable housing to middle-income households in the Borough of State College," SCCLT President Susan Venegoni said in a release. "For 20 years, the SCCLT has focused on increasing housing opportunities for low to moderate income households. Through our GreenBuild project, we will be able to help two middle-income individuals or families to buy a Land Trust duplex and lower their overall housing costs by reducing energy costs.

SCCLT is a nonprofit organization addressing the need for affordable housing and increasing home ownership. Since its beginning, the land trust had helped nearly 60 individuals and families purchase affordable homes in the borough.

WPPSEF, a nonprofit organization that invests in the deployment of sustainable energy technologies in the commonwealth.

Partnering with the borough, the Penn State Hamer Center for Community Design/Energy Efficient Housing Research Group, Centre County Commissioners and S&T Bank, SCCLT has been conducting a fundraising campaign for its GreenBuild initiative to construct duplex homes with cost-effective green technology. The aim is to help middle-income individuals and families own a home while reducing energy costs.

The project has received enough funding to move forward, but the land trust is still pursuing additional support to make the duplex net zero energy ready.

"Our financial support will help this community to showcase the benefits from a project that began when SCCLT met with the Penn State Hamer Center and challenged the architecture and engineering students to form a team to compete in the 2015 US Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition," said Joel Morrison, director of West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund. "This competition challenges and inspires the next generation of building science professionals to design an affordable, net zero energy home that meets DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home guidelines."

Envinity, Inc., of State College, will construct the duplex, working with Henry Architecture & Design and Macht Architecture.

The land trust and its partners believe the GreenBuild project will benefit not only the new homeowners, but also will be a model for others.

"As a model project, GreenBuild will provide valuable insight into ways to lower the costs of home ownership over the long term," said Peg Hambrick, chair of the GreenBuild project. "In a community that already has a shortage of affordable housing, the SCCLT will eliminate another barrier to homeownership by reducing the energy cost burden. We are proud to welcome WPPSEF as a key partner in this town-gown collaboration to address one of our community’s most well-known challenges: affordable housing.” 

For more on SCCLT and GreenBuild, visit

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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