At $60 to power a 100-watt light blub, solar energy isn’t cheap. Neither are the locally grown foods at the weekly farmer’s market. But with the help of some coveted stimulus money, environmentally sustainable living is no longer a luxury for 200 Harlem families. A row of 10 apartment building on West 135th Street have just been transformed by Jonathan Rose Companies, the first such project to benefit from H.U.D.’s Green Retrofit Program.
The stimulus funds helped to “green” the buildings, which house 198 units. In addition to basic upgrades and repairs, the Green Retrofit Program targeted the energy efficiency of the buildings, replacing 32 boilers with 10 high-efficiency boilers and installing rooftop solar photovoltaic panels. In an effort to decrease heater use during the winter, the project increased roof insulation. Low-flow showerheads were also among the sustainable features incorporated into the project.
A ribbon-cutting was held today outside the buildings, located at 107 to 145 West 135th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues. City officials and those from Enterprise Community Partners, who also partnered on the project, joined HUD and Jonathan rose for the event today.
“The renovation of the West 135th Street Apartments is a prime example of the City’s commitment to not only affordable housing, but also to making our communities eco-friendly and sustainable,” Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew Wambua said in a release. “Energy efficient renovations such as these maintain affordability of rents by reducing the cost of utilities, easing the burden on hardworking families. HUD’s Green Retrofit grant, along with substantial investment by our development partners, has made a big difference in this community that will benefit Harlem and its residents for years to come.”