One of the lingering environmental problems of New York City stems from its combined storm-water and sewage systems. Despite the extensive system of sewage treatment facilities in the city, in times of heavy rain the system is over-loaded resulting in raw sewage being dumped into the city’s tributaries and waterways. Working with the New York City Soil and Water Conservation District, we have developed programs where we create rainwater diversion and retention systems that store excess rainwater and make it available for use in a backyard garden in three of our buildings to date.
Additionally, working with Workforce Housing Advisors, with funding provided by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and TD Bank, we are developing our most ambitious Green Infrastructure to date, with over 10,000 square feet of garden space a green roof, green walls, and more.
We view all of these program as serving two purposes. First, these are environmental projects that protect our waterways and environment generally. Secondly, they are opportunities for community-building, providing space for productive interaction among residents, including opportunities to provide organized groups of residents with responsible control of our common areas for productive use, social interaction, and passive recereation.
To learn more about this program or to get involved please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy Savings Program
Working with the New York City office of the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), we have completed energy assessments and energy upgrades for seven other buildings. We also have installed a state of the art heat (and electrical use) monitoring system at 866 Beck Street that we hope will demonstrate sufficient savings to allow us to justify expansion into other buildings. The units installed, designed and produced by Intech 21, will also allow for individual tenant monitoring of electrical usage, resulting in savings for our residents, if Con Ed ever allows billing by actual usage or re-institutes its demand response program.
Banana Kelly’s Healthy Communities initiative was established to create new and improved healthy food outlets and venues for our residents and to build individual capacity to make their own using healthier choices. It was also established to educate residents and the community at large on nutrition and healthy food options.
The program is also connecting unemployed or underemployed individuals to job training and employment that will make healthy food more affordable and available. Finally, the program provides access to support services to residents such as health screenings, enrollment in health related programs and implements a comprehensive neighborhood outreach and awareness campaign.
The initiative is being funded by our main partner NYC LISC. In fact the initiative grew out of a project that began several years ago when LISC asked us to become involved in HUD’s Healthy Communities initiative for the Mott Haven Houses (in partnership with NYCHA).
Another partner is the New York Common Pantry, which is opening a pantry in 2017. The pantry will be located in our Longwood neighborhood and have a mobile van that will travel throughout the area.