Green terrace at Schermerhorn House (Photo: Ennead Architects)The creation of quality affordable housing, long a concern in New York City, has taken on added urgency in recent years, particularly as Mayor Bill de Blasio has made it the centerpiece of his agenda. Similarly, reducing carbon emissions to address climate change and improve local air quality has been a major emphasis since de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, championed that cause during his tenure. Increasingly, the two priorities have converged resulting in the growth of green affordable housing. Green building design first emerged as a luxury item that was limited to big budget projects such as high-end apartment and office buildings while early affordable housing projects incorporating green design elements were seen as a bit exotic and perhaps faddish by some. While a healthy skepticism about projects claiming the “green” mantle remains, the question now is not whether an affordable housing project in New York will be green, but how green? We present a brief history of green affordable housing in New York City through a look at ten representative projects that have been developed over the past decade.