"Our Mission is to provide leadership in ecologically sound and sustainable rehabilitation of existing housing and neighborhoods. ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc. will engage in activities that include: 1) acquisition and ecologically sustainable rehabilitation of affordable housing; 2) provide resources to aid homeowners and in rehabilitation of existing housing following sustainable design, material and system strategies; and 3) other activities relative to housing that help the community to achieve the triple-bottom-line of economic prosperity, environmental protection, and social equity."
The ecoREHAB initiative was established in 2009. Working collaboratively with Ball State University, the City of Muncie’s Department of Community Development and the local nonprofit agency ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc. this outreach program’s aim is to provide leadership in the ecologically sound, green and sustainable rehabilitation of existing and abandoned housing. This initiative benefits not only Ball State students, but the communities of Muncie in taking steps to achieving the National Goals Towards Sustainable Development in the areas of environmental protection, economic prosperity and social equity.
Communities need resources to aid homeowners, neighborhood groups, and developers and a strategy for re-investment in the existing housing stock and older neighborhoods. These are some of the city’s greatest assets, but they are presently devalued and underutilized. When considering "affordability", most can only see the initial expenses, like cost-to-rent and the cost-to-build and overlook the ongoing costs of maintenance, utilities and the long-term impact on the neighborhood. The perception that costs traditionally associated with rehabilitating older homes are higher than new construction leads to a desire for new housing. Yet, the adage "the greenest home is the one already built" holds try, and research shows that existing buildings have the potential to be far more energy efficient than commonly assumed. The green movement is creating an ever expanding toolbox of products, materials, and strategies that can be used to address these concerns.
ecoREHAB engages in activities that include: 1) acquisition of and ecologically sustainable rehabilitation of affordable housing; 2) providing resources to aid homeowners in rehabilitation of existing housing following sustainable design, material and system strategies; and 3) other activities relative to housing that help the community to achieve the triple-bottom-line of economic prosperity, environmental protection, and social equity. The four objectives of ecoREHAB are:
1) Rehabilitating existing houses while promoting and following green and sustainable building practices. Completed ecoREHAB projects will be economically competitive with more traditional quality rehabilitation methods;
2) Providing an immersive learning experience for Ball State University students. Engage students with ecoREHAB and the City of Muncie in the planning, budgeting, administration and construction of these projects;
3) Establishing a design assistance center for private home owners and other nonprofit entities to get design and technical assistance in sustainable design, material and system strategies for the rehabilitation of existing houses;
4) Offering training outreach programs to communities, community development corporations and individuals on methods of integrating similar programs and lessons learned by ecoREHAB.