Monday, April 22, 2019

Contact: Catherine Tenuta, SBS Press Secretary -, 212-618-8768


Rooftops Coating Mitigates Urban Heat Island Effect in Heat Vulnerable Neighborhoods

Initiative Now Recruiting Jobseekers to Develop Skills and Gain Work Experience through Initiative

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner (SBS) Gregg Bishop today announced that a City sustainability initiative has installed over 10 million square feet of energy-saving rooftops since it launched in September 2009. City-funded roof replacements on NYCHA buildings account for over 1 million square feet of this total. The initiative, called NYC °CoolRoofs, installs a white, reflective coating on buildings in heat vulnerable neighborhoods to reduce building energy consumption and internal building temperatures during the hot summer months. The initiative also provides local jobseekers with training and paid work experience coating these rooftops. NYC °CoolRoofs is now recruiting for its next cohort, which begins on May 6th, 2019.

NYC °CoolRoofs is a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and Sustainable South Bronx, a division of The HOPE Program. It is a key component of Cool Neighborhoods NYC, the City’s strategy to help keep New Yorkers safe during extreme heat and protect against the worst impacts of rising temperatures from climate change. NYC °CoolRoofs also supports New York City’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050 (80 x 50).

“Under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership, the City is committed to building a more sustainable city for New Yorkers,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By coating over 10 million square feet of rooftops through our NYC CoolRoofs initiative, we are taking a stance against climate change and looking out for the City’s more vulnerable residents.”

“Most New Yorkers who fall ill or die from heat-related illness do so at home,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency. “This important milestone shows the incredible progress New York City has made toward making our buildings cooler in the face of rising temperatures caused by climate change.”

“We are extremely proud of this 10 million square foot milestone. NYC °CoolRoofs mitigates the effects of climate change on front-line communities that are most directly impacted, while creating employment and career advancement opportunities for residents of those neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director, The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx. “We are excited to be part of an initiative that transforms lives while making New York City more energy efficient, and applaud Mayor de Blasio’s leadership connecting all New Yorker’s with employment opportunities building a more sustainable city.”

About NYC °CoolRoofs

NYC °CoolRoofs treats roofs with a specialized coating material that allows the roofs to reflect sunlight which, in turn, reduces heat absorption. This leads to an overall cooler building during the summer months. Installations are provided at no-cost to nonprofits, affordable housing, select cooperatively-owned housing, and select organizations providing public, cultural, or community services. Privately-owned buildings can receive installations at minimal cost. By installing a cool roof, buildings can gain the following:

  • 10% to 30% lower air conditioning costs;
  • Up to 30% lower temperatures inside buildings during the summer; and
  • Increased longevity of roof and building cooling equipment.

The initiative provides opportunity for jobseeking New Yorkers to gain experience. Through the ten-week initiative, participants will receive training, 300 hours of paid work experience, and the opportunity to obtain industry-relevant certifications, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 30-hour (OSHA 30) safety certification. Successful graduates will be connected to employment opportunities once they complete the program.

To apply or for more information on NYC °CoolRoofs, visit

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx)
HOPE and SSBx empower New Yorkers to build sustainable futures through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support. Together, these two nonprofits five training tacks which prepare individuals for careers in green construction and maintenance, the food sector or general industries. HOPE and SSBx serve over 450 New Yorkers each year, with offices in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and have earned praise as one of the most effective workforce development providers in the field. To learn more, please visit