Greening of Brooklyn Apartments Achieved By Nonprofits Enterprise, LISC
Close to 350 Affordable Units Weatherized
Compiled by Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — Close to 350 apartments in Brooklyn were recently retrofitted as part of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program, essentially “greening” 28 affordable housing buildings in the borough.
It was part of an $18 million citywide effort involving more than 2,200 low income housing units (95 buildings citywide) through a partnership of nonprofit affordable housing leaders Enterprise Community Partners and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and city and state agencies.
Although Enterprise wishes to omit publishing specific addresses, the buildings in Brooklyn that have been retrofitted include 13 in Greenpoint (142 apartments), 10 in Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights (122 apartments), four in Bushwick/Williamsburg (68 apartments) and one in the Downtown Brooklyn area (7 apartments).
In addition to funds from the Weatherization Assistance Program, funds came from NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
Selected by the state for the project, the two nonprofit entities also created some 200 temporary construction jobs and trained workers in green building maintenance. They expect a 24 percent energy savings and a 23 percent carbon emission reduction.
Critical to the program’s success, according to an Enterprise spokesperson, was active resident engagement, a focus on portfolios instead of individual buildings and post-construction monitoring to make sure that the intended savings will be realized.
Enterprise and LISC were also able to weatherize 4 percent more buildings and units than originally planned.
“By weatherizing more buildings within our budget, we proved that not only is it possible to make existing affordable housing more energy efficient, it’s possible to do it in a cost-effective and sustainable way,” said Enterprise’s Abby Jo Sigal. “We hope our lessons learned will help to enable other community development organizations to green their properties, extend the lives of their buildings, lower their operating costs and create healthier, affordable homes for low-income families.”
Officials also believe the project demonstrated that community-based housing organizations can manage buildings in more energy-efficient ways using available technology and will help inform the dialogue with policymakers and the financial industry on the importance of green retrofits for affordable housing.
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