e-co lab: Own a Home


The Benefits of Owning a Passive House


As a community housing development organization of the Urbana HOME Consortium, we agree to build affordable homes for families of low income. We accept monetary and in-kind donations to lower the costs of construction; and, our homebuyer qualifications are aligned with other government lending programs to make the homeownership process a little easier.


Far more stringent than Energy Star and other U.S. standards, the Passive House Standard requires reducing the operational energy load by 90% when compared to existing buildings. This means you only need a little energy to heat or cool the entire home – a few candles will do.


The EPA estimates that people spend 90-95% of their time indoors. Having excellent indoor air quality can significantly reduce the number of times a person will suffer from a respiratory illness. For those with chronic illnesses, clean indoor air can lead to a longer life. The Passive House uses heat recovery ventilation. Mechanical ventilation circulates pre-filtered fresh air through the home as it exhausts stale air. The two streams of air never meet which means the home will always have excellent indoor air quality. Learn more about the benefits of indoor air quality by clicking here.


According to Edward Mazria, AIA, buildings account for nearly half of all energy consumption and 76% of all power plant-generated electricity usage. E-co lab homes use 90% less energy for heating and cooling as well as cradle to cradle principles in the construction of the home. This means less reliance on fossil fuels during the life of the home and minimal damage to the environment during its construction or destruction.

e-co lab: Own a Home

  1. Be a resident of Champaign County, and

  2. Be at 80% or below the median family income (see the chart)

If you meet these criteria, we would like for you to apply for our Affordable Home Buyer Program by completing the steps below:

  1. 1. Obtain a copy of our Official Application Form in Microsoft Word format.

  2. 2. Print out your credit report and know your credit score

  3. 3. Obtain a loan through a lender of your choice

  4. 4. Once you have secured a loan, please request an appointment by sending an e-mail to info@passivehouse.org or by calling 217-344-1294. At this time you will need a copy of your three most recent pay stubs and last two years of income taxes.

NOTE: We use HUD’s Part 5 Income Verification Process to ensure each home is occupied by a low income family.

There are a number of home loan options available. The FHA loan is to help you afford your home with low interest rates and down payment requirements. If this sounds like something that may suit your needs, please visit: www.ihda.org for more information.

HUD’s Homeowner Info

List of IHDA backed lenders

Illinois Home Start Loan Information