Under the first agreement of its kind in the United States, New York State and New York City have joined forces to ensure energy efficiency in approximately 5,000 affordable apartments scheduled for rehabilitation through city-sponsored programs. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Chairman Judge Vincent DeIorio and NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan today announced the agreement that is expected to generate an estimated $6 million in annual energy savings for both residential building owners and tenants. They were joined by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., real estate developers, property owners and managers, community leaders, and elected officials at 915 Prospect Avenue, the Bronx, a 12-unit building that, along with ten other properties nearby, is part of HPD's recently-launched High Performance Housing Initiative.
HPD's newly-developed high-energy building specifications include energy-efficient lighting, boilers, windows, insulation, refrigerators, ventilators, and energy monitoring systems.
To help underwrite the cost of these enhanced energy-efficiency measures NYSERDA has committed over $7 million through the New York State Energy $mart Assisted Multifamily Program (AMP) administered by Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. (HR&A) in collaboration with its partner Community Environmental Center (CEC).
"No other City does as good a job as New York in crafting creative policies for building and preserving affordable housing for our residents," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "We're pursuing every possible avenue to find innovative ways to keep housing affordable for New Yorkers, including determining ways to lower monthly operating expenses. I want to thank Governor Pataki and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for working with us to save New York City building owners and tenants money on their monthly energy bills."
"This agreement will reduce overall owners' annual operating expenses by as much as $1,000 per apartment and individual tenants' annual utility bills by as much as $200," said HPD Commissioner Donovan. "At the same time, we're promoting a cleaner environment by reducing unnecessary energy consumption."
"We are working to build local capacity and interest in energy efficiency through this collaboration," said NYSERDA Chairman Judge Vincent DeIorio. "This first-of-its kind agreement reinforces the Empire State's status as a national leader in forward-looking energy policy and affirms New York City's leadership in energy conservation in the affordable housing arena."
The energy-efficient rehabilitation initiative began when HPD sought NYSERDA's assistance in revising its building specifications to meet high-energy efficiency standards. Under contract to NYSERDA and HPD, CEC was hired to review HPD's existing rehabilitation guidelines and recommend revisions that would promote energy efficiency in affordable housing and reduce fuel and electricity costs for owners and tenants. The outgrowth of this effort is the agreement to underwrite $7 million of energy-efficient enhancements in three phases. During the first phase, the State through its AMP Program, will provide approximately $3.5 million to cover completely the incremental costs of the energy-related improvements associated with about 2,000 apartments. In the second phase, approximately $2.1 million will be provided to cover 80% of the incremental costs associated with about 1,500 apartments and in the final phase, $1.6 million will be provided to cover 60% of the incremental costs for another 1,500 apartments.
915 Prospect Avenue and its companion buildings at 3414, 3416, and 3428 Park Avenue, 3414, 3416 and 3318 Third Avenue, 797 East 170 Street, 581 East 164 Street, and 984 Boston Road in the Bronx with a total of 101 apartments, were rehabilitated through HPD's Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program by Bronx-based KDA Realty whose principal is Elsie Ortiz. The rehabilitation of the eleven buildings was financed by $15.5 million from Banco Popular, $10.7 million from HPD, and an estimated $900,000 of proceeds from the sale of low-income housing tax credits syndicated by the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.
"We are excited to be among the first to participate in this High Performance Housing Initiative that's designed to help us operate our properties more cost efficiently," said KDA principal Elsie Ortiz. "And we're happy to give our tenants the opportunity to save on their housing expenses too."
HPD's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers and to implement Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace plan to fund the creation or preservation of homes and apartments for 200,000 New Yorkers. The department is the nation's largest municipal housing development agency. Since Fiscal Year 1987, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of more than 223,000 units of affordable housing. HPD's energy-efficient specifications are available on the agency's website, nyc.gov/hpd To request a Homeownership Kit or for more information about affordable rental housing, call 311 or log on to NYC.gov/hpd
The New York Energy $mart Assisted Multifamily Program provides a range of incentives to publicly assisted multifamily residential properties in New York State for energy-efficiency improvements and capital projects. The goal of the program is to improve the energy efficiency and energy management of these buildings while reducing the energy cost burden for tenants. Since its launch in 2000, the program has assisted approximate 80,000 affordable housing units in 33 counties around New York State. NYSERDA has committed approximately $58 million to date for this effort.
AMP was designed, implemented, and is currently administered by Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. (HR&A), a full service financial, public policy, and management consulting firm in collaboration with its partner Community Environmental Center, the largest not-for-profit energy conservation contractor in New York State.