Issues $30 Million Challenge to Green Affordable Housing in New York
Partners with Clinton Climate Initiative to Bring Green Affordable Housing to Scale
New York, NY, December 11, 2007 – Enterprise, a leading provider of affordable housing nationwide and an innovator in green building, today announced a partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to bring green affordable housing development and preservation to scale in New York City and New York State. To help achieve this goal, Enterprise also issued a challenge to government partners, foundations and financial institutions to contribute to a $30 million Green Fund, which supports Enterprise’s commitment to create and preserve 15,000 environmentally friendly homes for low-income New Yorkers through its national Green Communities initiative.
The announcement was made by Doris W. Koo, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, at Enterprise New York’s annual fundraising dinner, the Gotham City Gala, where Enterprise was joined by Ira Magaziner, former policy advisor to President William Jefferson Clinton and Chairman of the Clinton Climate Initiative, to celebrate the announcement. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was also honored for his efforts in the area of environmental sustainability.
“Enterprise believes that environmentally friendly housing is a necessity – not a luxury – in low-income neighborhoods,” said Koo. “Our commitment to create and preserve 15,000 healthy, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes for low-income residents in New York is the largest and most ambitious effort of its kind in the country. With this unprecedented $30 million challenge and our partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative we will be able to expand significantly our efforts to make all affordable housing healthier, more efficient and more sustainable.”
“I am pleased that we are working with Enterprise to help make homes for low-income families more energy efficient and more affordable,” said Ira Magaziner, Chairman of the Clinton Climate Initiative. “Enterprise’s efforts are an example of how we can save money for residents while taking action to address climate change.”
Green building is especially important for low-income people, who suffer disproportionately from high energy costs and environment-related health issues, such as asthma, caused by living in unhealthy environments. As residential buildings are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, environmentally friendly affordable housing also plays an important role in combating the adverse effects of climate change. Enterprise’s commitment to green 15,000 affordable homes will have a direct impact on the environment, reducing carbon emissions by 400,000 – 500,000 tons over 10 years. In addition, the initiative will result in a savings on utility costs of $850 – $1,200 for each green affordable housing unit that is rehabilitated and preserved as green.
The Enterprise Green Fund builds on Enterprise’s commitment to bring green affordable housing to scale through its national Green Communities initiative, which has already resulted in more than 10,000 environmentally friendly affordable homes nationwide, including over 3,000 in New York. Enterprise’s Green Communities commitment supports its Billion Dollar Promise, launched in 2004 with the Bloomberg administration and leading philanthropies, to create affordable housing for 45,000 low-income New Yorkers.
Enterprise Green Fund and CCI Partnership
The $30 million Green Fund will offer more flexible financing to encourage green development and preservation. The Green Fund builds on $3 million already committed by the New York City Council. Enterprise’s overall objective is to green all affordable housing in New York City and New York State by advocating for policy changes that encourage green building, and making available innovative financial products to help pay for any additional costs associated with going green. Enterprise also provides technical assistance and grants to affordable housing developers, architects and contractors for green projects.
To reach the goal of bringing green affordable housing to scale in New York, Enterprise is working closely with state and city housing agencies to help them adopt key aspects of Green Communities, the first national consensus-based, holistic standard for healthy, efficient, environmentally friendly affordable homes. At the State level, Enterprise and New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) have worked closely to develop a green building initiative that was best suited for New York State’s affordable housing programs. DHCR used Enterprise’s model and adopted a significant number of the Green Communities criteria to create a program to encourage developers of affordable housing to build green. Enterprise also continues to work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to synchronize its programs and resources with Enterprise’s green program statewide.
Enterprise is also working closely with other state and city housing agencies on additional green initiatives around affordable housing. For example, Enterprise worked with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to adopt its high-efficiency specifications for the last round of the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, helping to green over 900 units of affordable housing.
Enterprise has also entered into a broad partnership with CCI to create healthier environments, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in affordable housing across the country, particularly in New York, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Los Angeles. As part of the partnership, Enterprise will serve as a primary advisor to CCI on affordable housing, offering technical and financial resources and senior staff to support CCI’s climate change agenda in the United States. CCI will work with Enterprise in New York and other cities to mobilize resources and create partnerships to advance large-scale sustainable affordable housing programs.
“We look forward to tapping CCI’s expertise in areas such as financial structuring, energy performance contracting and market-transforming procurement initiatives to expand the scope and impact of Enterprise’s efforts,” said Koo.
Mayor Bloomberg Honored
The Enterprise 2007 Gotham City Gala, the theme of which was “Building a Greener New York,” also recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to building sustainable communities. At the Gala, Enterprise awarded New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the 2007 James W. Rouse Civic Medal of Honor for his civic leadership and pioneering efforts, including PlaNYC and the New Housing Marketplace Plan.
The James W. Rouse Civic Medal of Honor is named after Enterprise founder Jim Rouse (1914 – 1996), the visionary real estate developer and civic leader. Rouse was also the founder of the Rouse Company, which was responsible for many acclaimed urban renewal developments across the country, including New York City’s South Street Seaport and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
“Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC has set a model for the rest of the country to follow, and we are pleased to honor his efforts to make New York City a leader in environmental sustainability, including the development of green affordable housing,” said Abby Jo Sigal, vice president and director of Enterprise’s New York office.
“Integrating affordable housing with environmental sustainability is vital as New York prepares for nearly a million more residents by the year 2030. Our PlaNYC charts an ambitious course towards a sustainable city by expanding our housing supply and reducing New York’s global warming emissions by 30%,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Together with partners like Enterprise, we are working to ensure that affordable housing helps us to meet our sustainability challenges. I am honored to receive the James W. Rouse Civic Medal of Honor, named after a man who was a philanthropic colleague of mine and whose legacy in affordable housing is beyond comparison.”
Enterprise also honored John M. Reilly, Executive Director of Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC), with the 2007 Andrew Heiskell Community Renaissance Award – named in honor of the philanthropist and former Time Inc. Chairman and CEO. FBHC, established by tenants and community leaders in 1980 to address the problem of housing affordability in the Northwest Bronx, is a leader in green affordable housing and community building.
“John Reilly’s dedication and long career of advocating for the rights of New York’s most vulnerable residents is an inspiration to all of us,” said Sigal. “We are honored to recognize John’s efforts to make the Northwest Bronx a vibrant, affordable, sustainable place for all of the individuals and families in his community – including, most recently, the completion of Jacob’s Place, one of the most sustainable mixed-use, multi-family developments built to date in New York City.”
“Green” Designer Centerpiece Sculptures
The Gala’s theme of “Building a Greener New York” was also supported by noted artists, architects and designers from across the country who designed “green” table centerpiece sculptures that were auctioned off at the Gala, with proceeds benefiting Enterprise’s work in New York.
A designer committee headed by Sara Bengur (Sara Bengur Interiors), Ariel Flores Zurofsky, Scott Newkirk, Ornella Pisano (Ercole Home) and Melody Weir assembled a diverse team of creative artists to donate works, including Liz Barrow of Snohetta, the architecture firm that won the international design competition to build the new cultural center at ground zero.
Other visual artists, architects, set, fashion and interior designers included: Charles Parriott, former longtime colorist and consultant to Dale Chihuly; Paul Alter and Ted Klingensmith, Lee Skolnick Design Partnership; Amy Lopez, Specht Harpman; Christina Chung, PEI Cobb Freed & Partners; Sabrina Lupero, Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC; Sara Bengur, Sara Bengur Interiors, Inc.; Ornella Pisano, Ercole Home; David Kelly And Steven Harris, Steven Harris Architects; Ben Bischoff, Made LLC; Garrett Finney, FARO Studio; David Briggs, Loci Architects; Ira Levy, Levy Lighting NYC; Colleen Newell, John Robshaw; Jon Piasecki, Golden Bough Landscape Architecture; Alexander Gorlizki; Raphael Ben-Yehuda; Josana Blue; Rob Wynne; P. Detta; Nico Ponce de Leon Dios; and Jonathan Clarren.
Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For 25 years, Enterprise has pioneered neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $8 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve 225,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Enterprise is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Visit http://www.enterprisecommunity.org/ and http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/ to learn more about Enterprise’s efforts to build communities and opportunity, and to meet some of the half a million people we have helped.
Enterprise New York has been working to revitalize low-income communities across New York City since 1987. In that time, Enterprise New York has housed nearly 70,000 men, women, and children, developed more than 23,000 affordable homes, and committed $1.6 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city.
Visit http://www.enterprisecommunity.org/ to learn more about Enterprise’s efforts to build communities and opportunity, and to meet some of the half a million people we have helped.