Monday, June 2, 2014

Boston Housing Authority celebrates nation’s largest energy efficient public housing project

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

Last month NHC member Boston Housing Authority, along with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, celebrated the completion of the nation’s largest energy efficient public housing rehabilitation. 

he venture rehabilitated 13 of Boston Housing’s properties to include infrastructure upgrades, key measures for water conservation, energy efficient lighting, replacement of outdated apartment temperature controls and upgrades to energy management systems. In all, the rehabilitation cost over $66 million. Boston Housing expects to save $4.8 million annually from the upgrades in energy and water costs, with expected savings of $100 million over the 20-year contract term that Boston Housing shares with Ameresco, the project contractor. 

“We’ve proven that public housing can also be energy-efficient housing. We’re excited to be moving forward with green technology and upgrading our residents’ homes at the same time,” Boston Housing Administrator Bill McGonagle said in a press release.

Energy efficient “green” housing is an attainable standard that can help housing developers limit costs. NHC continues to support efforts of housing developers to go green. In Feb. we hosted a forum, How green is my Housing Credit: Proven results from green affordable rental housing, which discussed how to promote affordable green building, rehabilitation, and retrofits using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The panel discussed how green features in affordable housing developments can save on operating costs, improve residents’ health and benefit the environment by using less energy. A total of 17 different energy- and water-efficiency improvements were made in the rehabilitation. The updates are expected to reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 13,000 ton every year. 

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