While many eco-friendly amenities are available to only those who can afford them, an article from today’s New York Times highlights the benefits that green, affordable housing can provide to those who need it most, specifically low-income tenants.
The article profiles Christine Prince, who recently moved into the Intervale Green complex – located in “an infamous strip of South Bronx urban blight.” Developed by the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, the property has highly insulated windows, Energy-Star appliances and lighting fixtures designed for compact fluorescent lighting. Overall these, and other amenities, are projected to save residents nearly 30 percent on their utility bills.
Among other benefits, according to Prince, the placement of a green roof atop this apartment building has improved her breathing.
For many, the green roof symbolizes progress in the Bronx – an area that has been characterized by blight and violence. Green initiatives in the community may help change the Bronx's reputation in the coming years.
The Intervale Green complex is currently the largest affordable green housing development in the country. In addition, a nonprofit group called Sustainable South Bronx is training unskilled workers to help them develop "green" careers.