Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a retrofit?

Energy and water efficiency retrofit projects are upgrades or changes to your building systems that reduce energy or water use and improve how your building operates. Retrofit projects range from simple projects such as updating your common area lighting to larger projects, such as replacing your boiler.


What is Community Retrofit NYC?

Community Retrofit NYC is a program provided by the City of New York that offers free advisory services to owners, operators, and residents of small- and mid-sized multifamily buildings located in Central Brooklyn and Southern Queens to undertake energy and water upgrades in their buildings.


Community Retrofit NYC Neighborhoods map

Who can receive assistance from Community Retrofit NYC?

Community Retrofit NYC is geared towards multifamily buildings between 5 and 50 units located in Central Brooklyn and Southern Queens including parts of Marine Park, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Greenpoint, Bushwick, East New York, Richmond Hill, and Ozone Park. See our Community Retrofit Neighborhoods.

If your building is outside of a Community Retrofit Neighborhood or has more than 50 units, your building can receive assistance through the NYC Retrofit Accelerator. The NYC Retrofit Accelerator is a complementary program that supports all owners and operators of buildings citywide to complete energy efficiency and water retrofits and comply with the City's building energy regulations. Visit NYC Retrofit Accelerator for more information.


Does this program work with condos or co-ops?

Absolutely! Our program serves all multifamily buildings with 5 to 50 units, regardless of ownership structure.


What assistance does Community Retrofit NYC provide?

A team of building experts will work directly with building owners and decision-makers in small- and mid-sized multifamily buildings to:

  • Identify and select energy and water upgrade projects
  • Apply for financing and incentive options, including the City's Green Housing Preservation Program
  • Assist with the selection of contractors and service providers
  • Connect with training opportunities for building operators
  • Advise during project implementation and construction

Community Retrofit NYC cannot assist with tenant-landlord disputes and cannot remove housing or building violations. However, the program can work with you to resolve these through building upgrades and working with HPD.


How do building owners and residents pay for energy and water upgrades?

Many energy and water upgrades pay for themselves within a reasonable payback period. However, if building owners do not have the upfront capital to pay for the efficiency upgrades or have additional property needs, there are many financing and incentive options building owners can access to help cover costs. These include the City's new Green Housing Preservation Program, which provides low and no-cost financing for energy and water improvements and moderate rehabilitation work for multi-family buildings between 5 and 50 units in exchange for a commitment to affordability.

Community Retrofit NYC can help building owners, residents, and other decision-makers decide on financing options. See our Resources page for more information.


How much does Community Retrofit NYC assistance cost?

Nothing! Community Retrofit NYC is a free service provided by the City of New York for the owners and residents of buildings in Central Brooklyn and Southern Queens.


What is the Green Housing Preservation Program?

The Green Housing Preservation Program is NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development's new program that provides low and no-cost financing for energy efficiency and water conservation improvements, and moderate rehabilitation of small- to mid-sized multifamily buildings (more than 5 units and less than 50,000 square feet) in exchange for a commitment to affordability. Based on a typical scope of work, buildings may be able to reduce their utility costs by 10 percent or more.

Community Retrofit NYC will help connect interested and eligible building owners to the Green Housing Preservation Program. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more.


Why did the City create Community Retrofit NYC?

Community Retrofit NYC is part of Mayor de Blasio's commitment to reduce citywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 (80x50). The energy used in buildings accounts for nearly three-quarters of citywide GHG emissions, so scaling up energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings is essential to achieving this goal. Visit the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability’s website for information on the City’s efforts to achieve its GHG goals.  

Community Retrofit NYC is also a key component of the Mayor's commitment to preserving housing affordability. Utility and fuel costs account for almost 25 percent of operating costs in a typical residential building. Improving the energy and water efficiency of buildings mitigates rising building operating costs, which can translate to cost-savings for residents and frees up capital to make other investments in a building.