FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2021

CONTACT: | (212) 306-3322

NYCHA Celebrates 2021 NYC Climate Week with Updated Comprehensive Sustainability Agenda Outlining a Roadmap to Curbing Climate Impacts, Improving Homes for Residents and Expanding Green Jobs

The Five-Year Anniversary of NYCHA's landmark roadmap for curbing the impacts of climate change will increase the scale of environmental retrofitting projects through increased workforce development and sustainability initiatives

NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced an ambitious recommitment to addressing climate change and meeting the City’s mandate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the release of the 2021 Sustainability Agenda. NYCHA’s updated Sustainability Agenda will center on scaling up the Authority’s environmental sustainability initiatives and building decarbonization strategies. Informed by 10 months of engagement with NYCHA residents, City agencies, community-based organizations, and technical experts, the 2021 Sustainability Agenda centers around taking a holistic rather than piecemeal approach to comprehensive building renovations and community needs.

A centerpiece of the plan is advancing workforce development programs to provide opportunities for entrepreneurship, training, and a talent pipeline for green jobs while leveraging the bolstered Section 3 HUD mandate that requires economic opportunities be directed to low-income communities. By leveraging NYCHA’s buying capacity and large-scale partnerships as the largest public housing authority in the United States, the Authority will be able to drive innovation while advancing the timeline for various climate-focused construction projects. 

“The 2021 Sustainability Agenda presents a viable path forward for addressing climate change and creating a greener, more sustainable world,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “The strategies outlined in this master plan will enable NYCHA to meet this urgent challenge while providing our residents with opportunities to gain skills in cutting-edge green industries.”

“The traditional model for addressing the capital needs of the 2,000-plus buildings we oversee has to be modernized to meet the moment necessitated by increasingly significant climate change events,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President of Capital Projects Steven Lovci. “We are committed to utilizing the full weight of our partnerships, principles, and technologies to ensure that NYCHA residents are front and center in the conversation on the sustainable future of their communities.”

“This five-year update to our original Sustainability Agenda reflects the need to accelerate and deepen our commitments and actions to provide healthy, safe, and sustainable homes for our residents in the face of climate change,” said Vice President for Energy and Sustainability Vlada Kenniff. “The moment is right to not only decarbonize our buildings, but also make sure NYCHA residents can participate in the clean energy transition and green jobs.”

"From expanding urban farms in every borough to deep energy retrofits across developments to entrepreneurship opportunities, the 2021 Sustainability Agenda centers its vision on equitable climate solutions — and at the core of it, the needs and expertise of NYCHA residents and communities," said Ben Furnas, Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Climate and Sustainability. "The decarbonization strategies and sustainability initiatives outlined in the plan are critical to our fight against climate change while ensuring that NYCHA residents have access to healthy buildings and green job development."

“The Department of Sanitation applauds the release of NYCHA’s Sustainability Agenda and its recommitment to a greener future. The Agenda’s stated goals address historic operational issues and include resident-led initiatives that will create lasting change toward more sustainable public housing,” said Edward Grayson, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation “DSNY is a committed partner with NYCHA and looks forward to the expansion of the successful Recycling Reset program, the curbside composting goals, equipment upgrades and resident-led programs, all of which will divert a significant amount of recyclable and compostable material from landfill.”

“DEP is proud to work in partnership with NYCHA on many environmental initiatives and we applaud their Comprehensive Sustainability Agenda,” said NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “NYCHA’s substantial footprint makes it uniquely positioned to utilize green infrastructure to manage stormwater on-site and we look forward to continuing our partnership on this front.”

“I commend NYCHA on their 2021 Sustainability Agenda,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “The Sustainability Agenda presents a plan for how to make NYCHA residences more green all while providing residents with opportunities to gain high-demand skills in cutting-edge green industries. The contribution to sustainability and job creation demonstrated in this plan are both sorely needed at a time when our City is experiencing an economic crisis and beginning to face the brunt of climate change.”

"Green City Force (GCF) is proud to continue our longtime anchor partnership with NYCHA. We are fully committed to leveraging the potential and talent of NYCHA young adults and residents to be models for sustainable transformation led by BIPOC frontline communities,” said Green City Force Executive Director Tonya Gayle. “GCF is 100% aligned with the priorities of NYCHA to lead a New York City vision of environmental, economic, and racial justice by positioning young adults to become drivers of the green economy. Expansion of our Eco-Hub sites across the Authority (which provide local healthy food access, workforce training and holistic sustainable behavior change) and our demonstration partnerships in community solar, zero waste, urban forestry and multi-year engagement in NYCHA's retrofit priorities and weatherization are key components and community-led solutions for meeting our ambitious goals toward a #futuregreencity."

To advance NYCHA’s vision for sustainability, the Sustainability Agenda is centered around five core themes: carbon and energy, health and wellbeing, community, facilities and resource management, and economics. NYCHA has committed to the following goals over the next five years:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050
  2. Cultivate healthy and resilient communities based on design excellence
  3. Empower residents through community activation and workforce development
  4. Ensure efficient building operations and resource management
  5. Leverage all funding and financing toward healthier and decarbonized buildings

Key programmatic commitments include:

  • Energy Retrofits and Electrification– NYCHA’s commitment to deep retrofit technologies can profoundly influence the market for more affordable and efficient energy conservation methods. NYCHA is advancing a series of innovative projects to electrify building heating and cooling systems and is identifying buildings that can be fully electrified quickly.
  • Solar Power – NYCHA is increasing its goal to install 30MW of solar on its buildings by 2026 through scaling up the Community Shared Solar program and assessing other potential models. Four developments are under construction to receive a total of 4MW of power.
  • Urban Agriculture – NYCHA pledges to work with partners such as Green City Force to expand from seven to 15 farms by 2026, ensuring two farms in every borough.
  • Green Infrastructure – In partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, NYCHA has 38 projects, costing $70M, under construction or in progress that are implementing green infrastructure at 42 developments. These projects alleviate the issues of flooding during higher than average rain or snowstorms.
  • Re-envisioning Waste – With $563.5M in committed funds, NYCHA plans to overhaul and innovate waste management infrastructure. NYCHA is revamping the waste yards at 194 developments, installing new recycling centers and making compost collection available at all developments, as funding allows.
  • Green Revolving Fund – NYCHA is working on establishing a Green Revolving Fund, where savings from utility incentives and demand response programs will be collected and then reinvested in demonstration and innovation projects, supplement sustainability elements of capital projects, and provide funding for resident-led initiatives.


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA provides affordable housing to 380,299 authorized residents in over 177,611 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves 359,593 authorized residents in over 168,100 apartments within 285 housing developments through the conventional public housing program (Section 9) and 20,706 authorized residents in 9,511 units within 50 developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD. Through federal rent subsidies (Section 8 Leased Housing Program), NYCHA also assists approximately 77,663 families in locating and renting units. In addition, NYCHA facilitates access to social services through a variety of programs.

For more information, visit, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via and