OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS, The Home Depot Foundation will distribute grants totaling $100 million to help nonprofit groups develop and build 100,000 affordable, energy-efficient homes and plant and preserve 3 million trees in urban areas.

“We believe in creating environments—both inside a home and outside in a community—that contribute to the financial stability, personal success, physical health, and overall well-being of our neighbors,” Kelly Caffarelli, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation, said while announcing the funding.

The Home Depot launched the foundation five years ago to support the building of affordable homes and has given away grants totaling $30 million. But the new increase signals a shift, Caffarelli says. It is a “statement of our commitment,” but it is also a challenge to its nonprofit partners.

“We see the announced increase as an opportunity to challenge our partners to do better—better building, more energy efficiency, more environmentally friendly housing,” she says. The foundation, she says, is interested in housing that is healthier for the long term.

Grants—which will be approved by a 10-member board made up of The Home Depot's employees—will be issued three times a year, Caffarelli says.

To date, grant recipients include local and national nonprofits involved in housing and tree-planting activities, such as Enterprise Community Partners, Alliance for Community Trees, Global Green USA, and affiliate chapters of Habitat for Humanity.

Those interested in applying for grant money from the foundation should visit the foundation's Web site at www.homedepotfoundation.org.