Press Release

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NYCHA, the nation’s largest residential landlord and public housing authority, brings to the NYC Carbon Challenge an expansive portfolio totaling more than 175 million square feet of real estate and encompassing nearly 178,000 apartments across 2,547 buildings throughout 328 developments in the five boroughs.

NYCHA, which houses over 400,000 residents or 4.7 percent of New York City’s population, is the largest organization to join the NYC Carbon Challenge.

NEW YORK—The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the nation’s largest residential landlord and public housing authority, announced today its pledge to voluntarily reduce building-based greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent over the next 10 years as part of the NYC Carbon Challenge for Multifamily Buildings. NYCHA, the largest organization to make the pledge, joins 20 of the city’s leading residential property management firms, owners, and developers in the Carbon Challenge, which encourages the city’s largest organizations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and reduce the impact of climate change.

NYCHA’s participation marks a major commitment by the city’s largest residential landlord to continue to help New York City achieve its ambitious OneNYC goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. NYCHA, home to over 400,000 residents or 4.7 percent of the city’s population, brings to the NYC Carbon Challenge an expansive portfolio totaling more than 175 million square feet of real estate. It encompasses nearly 178,000 apartments across 2,547 buildings throughout 328 developments in the five boroughs and represents 8.1 percent of citywide rental apartments.

NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye said, “As the nation’s largest housing authority and residential landlord, we can have a major impact on curbing the effects of climate change, which affects us all. By joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, we are doing our part to not only meet city’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals but to protect both health and quality of life for this and the next generation of New Yorkers.”

Bomee Jung, NYCHA Vice President of Energy and Sustainability, said “Since the release of NYCHA’s Sustainability Agenda last April, we have been working in closely with sister agencies and industry leaders to launch an ambitious energy efficiency retrofit program. The NYC Carbon Challenge allows us to express how these investments that deliver brighter lighting and more comfortable and reliable heating also contribute toward mitigating the future impacts of climate change.”

Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Senior Director of Climate Policy & Programs and Chief Resilience Officer, said “Local action on climate is more important than ever and New York City continues to lead the way toward a more sustainable and resilient city that works for all New Yorkers. To date, the NYC Carbon Challenge has successfully helped innovative organizations demonstrate local climate leadership. I applaud NYCHA for joining this effort and for its continued leadership on sustainability, which is supporting our efforts to achieve the City’s ambitious climate goal of reducing greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050.”

Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said, “The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is thrilled to welcome NYCHA to the NYC Carbon Challenge. I want to commend NYCHA’s leadership for their commitment to sustainability and partnership with the City of New York in this fight against climate change. NYCHA’s enrollment in the NYC Carbon Challenge is an impactful step in helping New York City achieve its goal of reducing citywide GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050 and strongly supports the City’s goal of providing healthy and affordable homes for all New Yorkers.”

NYCHA is already working towards achieving the city’s emission-reduction goals. Through a series of large-scale Energy Performance Contracts and other energy programs, work is underway to upgrade heating, hot water, interior and exterior lighting, and ventilation systems in buildings across the city. With these energy retrofits, NYCHA can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, which is equivalent to approximately 330,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The Authority is also evaluating the costs and benefits of more substantial building retrofits such as replacing building systems, and is working with the city to test new approaches and technologies that will help NYCHA reduce energy costs further and achieve additional carbon reductions.

Congress Member Gregory W. Meeks said, “I commend NYCHA for leading by example in taking strong action to combat climate change. Reducing emissions will improve our city’s sustainability and will benefit residents now and generations of New Yorkers to come.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman said, "The New York City Housing Authority's participation in the NYC Carbon Challenge sets an important example for municipalities across the country of how we can leverage local resources to continue to improve our environment, protect residents, and make our cities more sustainable. As we confront the new reality of a climate-denying administration in Washington, the steps we take here in New York to fight climate change have become more important than ever. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye for their hard work in continuing this important fight."

Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Housing Committee, said, "I commend NYCHA's participation in the NYC Carbon Challenge. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a critical part of our responsibility to provide residential units that are not only affordable but healthful and environmentally friendly as well. This forward-thinking initiative will have a positive impact on NYCHA residents for generations to come."

Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators, said, "It’s great to see Shola Olatoye and the Housing Authority confronting the challenge of climate change head on, through a wide range of resiliency initiatives and now by joining the NYC Carbon Challenge. As one of the largest residential landlords in the world, NYCHA’s commitment is particularly important, both for the enormous impact this effort will have, and as a model for other organizations with funding difficulties and aging infrastructure.”

Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, said, “Every effort we can make as individuals and through the institutions we have created to manage our society to reduce our carbon footprint is essential to protecting our planet from global warming. NYCHA facilities, with their more than 2,500 buildings and 400,000 tenants, show us that energy conservation begins at home. Working together we can reduce the harm caused by fossil fuels to our environment and improve the health of our communities and our planet.”

Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Committee on Public Housing, said, “Last year marked another record-setting year for the highest temperatures on Earth. As climate change continues to impact all corners of the globe and our daily lives, it is imperative that governments and institutions take steps to become more environmentally conscious. By joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, NYCHA is doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint, help the environment and set an example for other governmental entities.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Environmental Protection Committee, said, “Now more than ever, our cities must lead the way on combatting climate change and implementing sustainable policies. The NYC Carbon Challenge for Multifamily Buildings will help reduce NYCHA’s building-based emissions 30 percent over the next 10 years. These types of policies will help ensure our city’s future environmental health. I thank NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye for taking on this important commitment.”

Council Member Donovan Richards said, “As we begin to endure a new direction for our country, it is more important than ever that we continue to fight back against climate change on the local level and thankfully, NYCHA is up for the challenge. Not only will these energy retrofits help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, but they will also improve the lives of more than 400,000 New Yorkers, who will have better heating, lighting and ventilation in their homes due to NYCHA's participation in the NYC Carbon Challenge for Multifamily Buildings. I'd like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye, Director Dan Zarrilli and Director Mark Chambers for their continued efforts to achieve the ultimate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission 80 percent by 2050.”




About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs. To fulfill this mission, NYCHA must preserve its aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of its developments. Learn more about NYCHA’s Sustainability Agenda, which details the commitments that NYCHA will make over the next 10 years to improve resident well-being and operate as an effective and efficient landlord.

About the NYC Carbon Challenge

The NYC Carbon Challenge is a voluntary leadership program aimed at improving the energy efficiency of New York City’s buildings by encouraging the city’s largest organizations to pledge to reduce their building-based emissions by 30 percent or more over the course of ten years. To date, New York City’s 17 leading universities, 10 of the largest hospital organizations, 24 commercial firms, 10 commercial owners, 20 residential management firms, and 18 hotels have accepted the Challenge. By doing so, they are helping the City achieve its 80 x 50 goal as well as setting an example for other buildings to begin to reduce their energy use. Learn more about the NYC Carbon Challenge and how New York City is tackling global climate change, while also working to make the city a more sustainable, affordable, and equitable place to live.