Nearly 1,150 Bronx apartments retrofitted

Some 1,150 Bronxites will be warmer this year thanks to Enterprise Community Partners and Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

The two corporations recently retrofitted nearly 1,150 apartments in the Bronx as part of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

They were selected by the state to weatherize 41 buildings throughout the Bronx, and created 200 temporary construction jobs, trained workers in green building maintenance, and expect 24% energy and 23% carbon emission reduction.

The funds came through the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program, working in partnership with New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“By weatherizing more buildings within our budget, we proved that not only is it possible to make existing affordable housing more energy efficient, but that it’s possible to do it in a cost-effective and sustainable way,” said Abby Jo Sigal, vice president and New York market leader of Enterprise. “We hope our lessons learned will help to enable other community development organizations to green their properties, extend the lives of their buildings, lower their operating costs and create healthier, affordable homes for low-income families.”

Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan is a multibillion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year.

To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 129,200 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.

Neldo Angeles, property manager for Dougert Management, said that the training was especially helpful for their four supers in the Bronx because of the focus on fundamentals.

“With all of their responsibilities to the buildings’ residents, they tend to ‘forget the little things’ that are important to the efficient, safe, and comfortable operation of their systems,” Angeles said. “The opportunity for a dedicated training that schools new supers on the fundamentals and gives experienced supers the brush-up they need is an important component of a comprehensive weatherization program.”

Denise Scott, managing director of New York City LISC and vice president of New York Equity Fund said the weatherization program was effective by not only cutting energy costs but by providing education the building owners as well.

“We blew insulation into the walls and replaced leaky windows and replaced rusted boilers with high-efficiency ones,” said Denise Scott, managing director of New York City LISC and vice president of New York Equity Fund. “We also taught property managers and building maintenance staff how to operate those computerized boilers. So now, not only will low-income renters save on their utility bills—$20 more a month can mean a lot to a family—the people who run their buildings have new skills.”