FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2017
NYCHA’S HOWARD AVENUE RECEIVES $1 MILLION ENERGY-EFFICIENCY UPGRADES AS FIRST PROJECT IN PILOT BY NEW YORK STATE WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
State-of-the-art upgrades will improve the quality of life for residents by providing brighter lighting, better ventilation, and more consistent heating.
NYCHA completes $1 million energy-efficiency upgrades at Howard Avenue Houses in Brooklyn.
NEW YORK — Today, the New York City Housing Authority New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), and Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee, Inc. (SPRC) announced the completion of a comprehensive, $1 million-dollar energy-efficiency pilot project at Howard Avenue Houses in Brooklyn. This is the first NYCHA development to receive upgrades through the program, which is sponsored by the New York State Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), the largest residential energy conservation program in the country. WAP, which is administered by HCR and funded by the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services, assists owners of small homes and multifamily buildings by providing energy-efficiency measures. Howard Avenue received upgrades to lighting, heating and ventilation systems, which will improve the quality of life for NYCHA residents by providing brighter lighting, better air quality, and more consistent heating.
“NYCHA is committed to pursuing every resource available to improve residents’ quality of life,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “By partnering with New York State Homes and Community Renewal, we can provide better air quality, heating, and lights for our residents and preserve these buildings for the next generation.”
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “People living at NYCHA’s Howard Avenue Houses will soon have safer, healthier and greener homes thanks to this ground-breaking partnership between HCR’s Weatherization Assistance Program, NYCHA, Con Ed, and SPRC. Since 2011, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, HCR has invested $642.5 million in Weatherization funds throughout New York State, making 116,703 homes more energy efficient. Public housing is one of the most critical affordable housing resources in New York, and I am pleased that with Con Ed and NYCHA’s help, WAP funds will be put to work reducing heating and cooling costs, preserving affordability, and improving quality of life for Howard Avenue House residents.”
“SPRC, Inc. is proud to pioneer this program service on behalf of WAP to NYCHA and its residents,” said Gary Brown, SPRC Executive Director. “While the WAP program benefits the environment and assists to offset the owner investment for upgrades, which in some ‘small home cases’ can be completely free of charge; ultimately, the tenants are the ones who experience the day to day health benefit and realize the monthly savings to their energy bills.”
“As a city, we must do more to reduce our collective energy consumption and protect the environment,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Retrofitting public housing buildings like Howard Avenue Houses is an important step toward expanding energy efficiency techniques across the borough. These kinds of improvements are much needed to lower Brooklyn’s carbon footprint and improve the quality of life for all Brooklynites.”
A recent evaluation of the Weatherization Program conducted by the National Renewable Energy Lab found that this work reduces heating costs by 20% or more in multifamily buildings in New York City, and has positive health benefits for residents. The energy savings resulting from this program will help NYCHA meet its goal to reduce energy intensity by 20 percent by 2025 as part of HUD’s Better Buildings Challenge, and will also contribute to the greenhouse gas emission-reduction goals of the NYC Carbon Challenge and OneNYC.
Since 2015, NYCHA has been working with HCR to bring the benefits of weatherization to the Authority’s smaller, multi-family buildings. Of the Authority’s 326 developments, 160 developments are single stand-alone buildings, low-rise walk-ups, or small multifamily buildings like Howard Avenue Houses.
NYCHA worked with SPRC, one of a series of citywide nonprofit agencies funded to provide WAP services throughout New York City, to make the upgrades at Howard Avenue, which included new windows, new boilers, interior air sleeve covers/draft prevention inserts, Energy Star refrigerators, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, water-conserving showerheads, new bathroom ventilation fans, energy-efficient LED fixtures and lighting in apartments, common areas, and corridors. The WAP grant provided approximately $760,000 for the project, while Con Edison contributed $31,000 to cover a portion of the lighting installation costs through its Brooklyn-Queens Neighborhood Program.
“NYCHA’s lighting upgrade shows the excellent opportunity our Brooklyn-Queens Neighborhood Program provides for customers in certain areas of the two boroughs,” said Gregory Elcock, Con Edison Manager of the Neighborhood Program. “We’re helping customers make energy efficiency upgrades that will save them money and reduce their bills. Chair Olatoye and her team did great work in making a decision that will benefit NYCHA’s residents and then in working with us on the new lighting.”
“I’m really happy NYCHA did this. We needed it,” said Howard Avenue Resident Association President Rose Clifton. “We got these new windows, new vents in the bathroom, and I really enjoy the lighting they put outside because now you can see everything. Residents are so happy because everything is so much better around here.”
The second development to benefit from this program will be Belmont-Sutter Houses in Brooklyn, which will receive WAP upgrades this summer from SPRC. This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The Authority is also working with six other WAP providers, who are currently conducting energy audits of 18 developments comprising 2,238 apartments to begin work within the year. NYCHA has pre-qualified 8,000-apartments in total at 46 additional developments for future WAP projects.
The WAP program advances the goals outlined in the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda, which details the Authority’s 10-year commitment to improve resident well-being and operate as an effective and efficient landlord. Since the release of the agenda last year, NYCHA has been working with government and private sector partners to provide better service for residents, reduce energy and costs, and curb the effects of climate change. In addition to the WAP program, work is underway to upgrade heating, hot water, interior and exterior lighting, and ventilation systems in buildings across the city through a series of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) and other energy programs.
###About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
About New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) preserves housing affordability and works with many private, public and nonprofit sector partners to create inclusive, safe, “green,” and resilient places to live in New York State. HCR programs provide financing to create and preserve multifamily housing; administer programs to improve housing conditions, ensure accessibility, and save energy; provide bonding authority and other resources to facilitate local public improvements and job creation; and help thousands of low- and moderate-income New Yorkers purchase a home. Learn more about the New York State Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) here.