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NYCHA's "Green" Agenda

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is fully committed to providing safe, affordable housing for more than 400,000 residents in a cost efficient and environmentally conscious manner. To that effect, NYCHA aims to become a leader among landlords when it comes to advancing PlaNYC, the City's strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make New York City the world's first great sustainable city of the 21st century.

Below are examples of some of the strides that NYCHA is making towards creating a healthier environment.

Learn more about the origins of NYCHA's Green Agenda




Green Guide: The Power is in Your Hands
The user friendly Green Guide offers 40 “green tips” and provides residents with information on saving energy and the environment. The Green Guide was developed through the efforts of desigNYC, a group of designers and design advocates that aim to improve life in New York City by connecting nonprofits and community groups in need of design services with professional, pro bono design resources. One member of desigNYC, The Rooster Group, generously offered its creative services to develop and design the Green Guide.
Green Guide (in PDF)
Green Guide En Español (Spanish) (in PDF)




NYCHA Joins Other City Agencies In Effort to Lower Energy Use

June 2012
As part of the new Municipal Entrepreneurial Testing System, 25 NYCHA buildings will participate in a residential energy tracking program to monitor energy and water usage.The Municipal Entrepreneurial Testing System came about through a new initiative led by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Michael Nelson and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).
NYCHA Joins Other City Agencies In Effort to Lower Energy Use 



Resident Green Committee Leaders listen to presentation. (Photo by LETICIA BARBOZA)

Resident Committee Speak “Green” at Inaugural Sustainability Conference
April 2, 2012
Resident Green Committees (RGC’s) from NYCHA developments citywide met on March 29 to discuss topics concerning preserving green spaces in public housing. The Resident Green Committee and the first annual conference for sustainability represent NYCHA’s continued support of emphasizing environmental awareness to residents. During the conference, residents participated in a series of workshops and a forum, where they learned about the challenges and accomplishments other RGCs have experienced.

Resident Green Committee Leaders Convene at First Annual Sustainability Conference


''Garden of Zodiac'' at South Jamaica Houses. (Photo by Lloyd Carter)

NYCHA Gardening Awards Showcase Resident Greening Efforts
Oct. 28, 2011
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) celebrates hundreds of residents who participated in NYCHA’s Garden and Greening Award Competition. As part of the larger Garden and Greening Program, the competition serves to highlight the beautification and environmental efforts of NYCHA residents towards senior, community, and day care centers. Nearly 625 gardens were identified this year at NYCHA property developments to be worthy of an award in the Competition’s preliminary judging phase. A panel of horticulture experts selected borough and citywide winners categories including "Best Flower Garden," "Best Vegetable Garden," and "Best Children’s Theme Garden."

NYCHA Resident Gardeners Receive Recognition for Beautifying Their Communities
NYCHA Hosts the 49th Annual Garden and Greening Awards Ceremony [Press Release]
NYCHA Garden Program
NYCHA Garden & Greening Award Ceremony Photos (Flickr)


NYCHA Board Members with Planters representative and elected officials at Wald Houses. (Photo by Leticia Barboza)

Seeds Planted Towards A Greener Lower East Side
Oct. 5, 2011
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is pleased to join with PLANTERS, The Corps Network, and Green City Force to expand green space at Lillian Wald Houses on New York's Lower East Side. Thanks to funding from PLANTERS, the development will permanently host a Planters Grove, a program that transforms urban areas into accessible green spaces. The Grove is also being built in part by residents who will directly benefit from it. In his remarks at the October 3rd event, NYCHA Chairman John B Rhea stressed the importance of having such vibrant spaces and its correlation to healthier communities.

Read the story
Photos from the Planters Grove ceremony (Flickr)
View video of the opening ceremony (YouTube)
NYCHA Joins With PLANTERS, The Corps Network, & Green City Force to Expand New Yorkers Access to Open Space (in PDF)


NYCHA residents learned what must-have items to include in their

Rockaway Residents Learn How to Weather the Storm
May 19, 2011
More than 600 residents in Far Rockaway, Queens have joined NYCHA Commissioner Margarita López and representatives from the Emergency Services Department and Queens Property Management to learn how to protect themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. These residents reside in the Rockaway Peninsula, which is susceptible to flooding during heavy rain. With safety and security of residents being a top priority at NYCHA, these emergency preparedness sessions serve to equip our residents with the tools they need to safeguard their family, neighbors, apartment, and property.

Preparing for the Worst in the Rockaways
Emergency Preparedness


Parks Comm. Benepe; COO/BNP Paribas Sobin; Chairman Rhea, Toyota North America VP Pineda, Bronx Borough Pres. Díaz, Jr.; NYRP Founder Bette Midler; Board Member López. Sotomayor Houses. (P. Mikoleski)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses Tree-Planting Marks Arbor Day
April 28, 2011
In celebration of Arbor Day, NYCHA welcomed partners to the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses (Bronx) to promote clean air and beautify the neighborhood. NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea and Commissioner Margarita López attended the festivities alongside famed multi-talented entertainer and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) founder, Bette Midler; “Good Morning America” weather anchor Sam Champion; and Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
NYRP founder Bette Midler and "Good Morning America" Weatherman Sam Champion Join New York City Housing Authority, Volunteers and Students to Plant Trees to Celebrate Arbor Day (in PDF)
Read Chairman Rhea's remarks (in PDF)
View photos from events (Flickr)
Learn about PlaNYC


Garden and Greening Program

Garden and Greening Program
49th Annual Garden Competition (in Spanish) (in PDF) NEW
NYCHA Gives a Green “Thumbs-Up” to Residents’ Gardens
NYCHA Garden Program


Resident gardeners attending a gardening workshop. (Photo by Leticia Barboza)

NYCHA Gardeners Meet to Talk "Green"
March 25, 2011
The New York City Housing Authority Garden and Greening Program held its 9th Annual “NYCHA Grows with its Gardeners” conference on March 25 to discuss issues in creating and maintaining gardens on development grounds citywide. Community and expert gardeners from the five boroughs met to share useful tips and also learned how to grow award-winning gardens. Over 20 collaborative organizations participated in this year’s conference, providing tables with educational materials and other free or low cost gardening resources to resident gardeners.
NYCHA Residents Grow Their Gardening Skills at Annual Conference
View Photos from the Conference (Flickr)
NYCHA's "Green" Agenda


Ingersoll Garden of Eden

The "Garden of Eden" Resides in Brooklyn
"Garden-variety" takes on a whole new meaning at Ingersoll Houses, the home of a melody of vegetables thanks to a partnership between NYCHA and the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Local Development Corporation. As a result, a group of residents tend to the garden and its contents, which are sold at the nearby Myrtle Avenue community-run Farm Stand from July to August. Residents in other developments will soon learn that the grass is greener as plans for community gardens in other developments are beginning to sprout. 
Hungry for Fresh Homegrown Veggies? Look No Further Than Downtown Brooklyn


Upper Harlem Resident Green Committee Chair Cheryl Minor & Co-Chair Channie Allen planting bulbs. (Photo provided by Ms. Minor)

Green Living Leads to High Honors for NYCHA Developments
January 15, 2011
Green living is paying off big for various New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments. Residents in five NYCHA developments saw their energy toward community beautification pay off in a big way thanks to the “Love Your Block” grant. Frederick Samuels Apartments, Ravenswood, Soundview, Hope Garden, and Astoria Houses all received a $500 grant from the Citizens Committee for New York City, in partnership with the Mayor's Office. Another development, Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx received an “Energy Project of the Year” award from the Association of Energy Engineers based on several heating and lighting upgrades to the 14 building, 2,000-apartment complex.
Green Living Leads to High Honors for NYCHA Developments


Castle Hill Houses. (Photo by Pete Mikoleski)

Castle Hill Houses Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Wins Innovative Energy Project Award
December 28, 2010
Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx is 50 and fabulous thanks to recent heating and lighting upgrades that are so innovative, it earned NYCHA an Energy Project of the Year award from the Association of Energy Engineers. Completed on December 15, 1960, the Castle Hill residents who live in the 2,023 apartments of the 14-building complex are experiencing improved quality of life due to the investments that NYCHA has made in this development.
NYCHA Wins Energy Management Award for Innovation at Castle Hill Houses
Tracking temperature and energy consumption in Castle Hill Houses (Video) NY1


New York City Housing Authority Board Member Margarita López addresses the audience with Department of City Planning Director, Amanda M. Burden (Photo by Pete Mikoleski).

SpeakingGreen Lecture Series Seeks Expansion to
National Conference
November 16, 2010
New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Board Member Margarita López welcomed Department of City Planning Director, Amanda M. Burden to guest speak at the most recent SpeakingGreen Lecture Series. From its start in late 2008, SpeakingGreen has served as a forum between experts in a variety of topics and the community. The aim is to increase consciousness towards NYCHA’s environmental impact and commitment to reduce energy use through innovative action.
Read about the final SpeakingGreen lecture




NYCHA’s Betances Houses Marks a Milestone in the NYC Service Cool Roofs Initiative
October 13, 2010
The New York City Housing Authority is proud to participate in the NYC Service Cool Roofs Initiative as the location where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri applied a reflective, white coating to the one millionth square foot of rooftop on Betances Houses in the South Bronx as a part of the NYC CoolRoofs program.
Under the NYC °CoolRoofs Program, the roofs of 105 public, private and non-profit buildings received reflective white coating. This includes more than 340,000 square feet of City-owned rooftops, which were identified by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and 70,000 square feet of rooftop on NYCHA facilities.
Read the Mayoral Press Release (nyc.gov)
Cool Roofs Article (Daily News)


Photo: Samuel Lahoz Photography www.slny.net

NYCHA: A Model in Green Partnerships
October 6, 2010
NYCHA not only has been recognized as a valued partner in sustainability efforts, but also for promoting its Green Agenda.  On October 6, NYCHA was recognized at the American Institute for Architects – New York / Center for Architecture’s Heritage Ball for its achievements in energy efficiency and greening in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, a foundation established by former president Bill Clinton.  This annual award given by the Center for Architecture Foundation recognizes an individual or organization that improves the built environment through education and community involvement.  It was presented to the Clinton Climate Initiative for its work on energy efficiency in buildings in New York City and around the world.  NYCHA’s Green Agenda was one of the featured projects, with special emphasis on the energy improvements at Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx, which include new boilers, incandescent light bulbs and replacing existing hot water tanks with instantaneous hot water heaters.




It Takes a Village to Go Green
October 2010
More and more people are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint. And although individual efforts to go Green are important, a collective effort among neighborhoods, local schools, churches and community organizations is needed to make a palpable difference in the movement toward environmental awareness.
Read About the Efforts to Go Green


NYCHA Member Margarita López with Department of Buildings Executive Director of Code and Sustainability Affairs, Helen Gittleson. Photo by Leticia Barboza

Speaking Green Lecture Series: Climate Change and Energy Conservation
July 28, 2010
NYCHA held its first outdoor SpeakingGreen lecture with guest speakers from the New York City Department of Buildings to address the subject of climate change and energy conservation. The quarterly SpeakingGreen lecture series is part of NYCHA’s green agenda, and with co-sponsorship from the Clinton Climate Initiative.
Read More About Speaking Green Series
Department of Buildings Sustainability Website


NYC Service volunteer painting the LIC YMCA roof. Photo courtesy of Community Environmental Center

Fourteen NYCHA Development Roofs to Get Cool Roof Treatment
May 11, 2010
The newest addition to NYCHA's Green Agenda to reduce greenhouse gasses and conserve energy is NYC °Cool Roofs - an exciting collaboration—between NYC Service, NYC Department of Buildings, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and the Community Environmental Center—that is helping to reduce the Authority’s carbon footprint as well as lower energy and utility consumption.

Read the press release
What is the "cool roof" technique?
NYC °Cool Roofs Volunteer Opportunities


Commissioner Lopez speaks with a resident at a NYCHA Green event. Photo by Leticia Barboza

NYCHA Presents the 2010 “Speaking Green” Lecture Series
April 22, 2010
NYCHA kicked off its second annual Speaking Green Lecture Series on Earth Day, with an increased effort toward involving residents more in the “greening” of NYCHA. A panel of notable guest speakers discussed practical ways residents can help to preserve public housing through low-carbon living. Participants also received a handy reference, or Green Guide, that contains energy saving tips and a tool to calculate your personal "green score."

Read the press release
The Speaking Green Program


NYCHA's "Green" Agenda Archive (2007-2009)