Bad mortgages ran the economy into the ditch, and the housing built was often very hard on the environment both directly and indirectly.
Because the finanicial part of the building industry has been largely nationalized, there is a golden opportunity to build in a way that helps all of us. The government can see to it, although this doesn’t mean it will (a new Bush Administration would just milk us and then turn things back to those who made the mistakes).
Here are some environmentally (and economically) friendly ideas. Memo To US Government: Five Ways To Fix The Housing Industry. by Lloyd Alter. Design & Architecture.
To paraphrase from the article.
1. No more low density suburban sprawl — death to new McMansions.
2. Make the housing you own energy efficient. Most of this is low hanging fruit — not expensive.
3. Put a limit on how much carbon a residence can use/emit regardless of its size — more space would require use of alternatives to coal, natural gas, oil energy.
4. No more hurricane bait — houses in places where they get destroyed every 10 or 20 years will not be insured.
5. If you don’t want to abide by these simple standards, don’t ask for a mortgage. Pay cash.