On Earth Day 2016, The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) released the “First-ever Comprehensive Sustainability Agenda for Healthy & Energy-Efficient Public Housing“. NYCHA is the nation’s largest residential landlord, providing permanently affordable housing to more than 400,000 low-income New Yorkers, many of whom would be homeless without public housing.
One of the key components of authority’s ten-year sustainability roadmap is solar power installations. NYCHA is pledging to generate 25 megawatts of power from solar panels by 2025. There will be 2.5 million square feet of panels. The Wall Street Journal says that’s enough to cover Washington Square Park. It would be enough to power 6,600 apartments.
NYCHA Sustainability Agenda Goal 1:
Achieve short-term financial stability and diversify funding for the long term
Attract investment for capital improvements:
NYCHA will attract $300 million in private capital to fund large-scale retrofits through Energy Performance Contracts, and tap energy-efficiency incentive programs to reduce the capital needs of scattered-site developments by $30 million.
Raise revenues through clean and distributed energy projects:
NYCHA will develop a pipeline of commercial-scale solar projects for third-party solar developers, part of a joint initiative from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Energy called Renew300. NYCHA will also develop a resilient microgrid and district energy system at Red Hook East and West Houses and support the City in identifying other opportunities for community-scale clean and distributed energy systems.
Focusing on resident health and comfort, and working hand-in-hand with sister agencies and community partners, NYCHA aims to achieve the following by 2025:
- Eliminate the root causes of mold by fixing leaks in roofs, façades, and pipes and modernizing ventilation systems.
- Eliminate overheating and unplanned heat and hot water outages.
- Start on the path to meeting the City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases
80 percent by 2050.
- Address climate adaptation and resiliency in all capital planning.
- Incorporate sustainability into day-to-day management of all properties.