Housing authorities in rural counties of the United States face two common problems: declining communities and aging population demographics. Most housing authorities also share a common mission, to provide safe, decent, sanitary, affordable housing to income eligible residents. Through their Energy Efficient Housing Program the Union County Housing Authority hopes to thread short and long-term affordability into their housing by accounting for the ongoing cost of energy during design and construction and in the long-term expenses carried by future homeowners. The pilot project (located in temperate climate zone of central Pennsylvania, USA, where attention to winter heating and summer cooling/dehumidification are important concerns) demonstrates strategies for Passive and Low Energy Architecture that addresses these goals in both the design of the homes and the urban design strategies employed. This paper reports on the design tools and methods employed in realizing a demonstration project that can be more widely applied in realizing low energy housing that is affordable in the short and long-term.