41 families in the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York are celebrating the first weeks of the new year in new green homes. On a lot on Atlantic Avenue that once held 12 townhouses, Habitat for Humanity volunteers built 41 new LEED Gold certified units under the direction of Dattner Architects on Atlantic Avenue. The project is the largest multi-family housing unit in Habitat’s US history. Each family that purchased an apartment donated 300 labor hours to the project, and in return — along with a new mortgage and home — they received a 0% interest rate as part of Habitat’s “Sweat Equity” program.
The project received funding from various New York State affordable housing programs and the land was sold to Habitat for Humanity from the City of New York for $13. To cover the cost along with these donations, the residents of the building pay for their homes. The lowest price was $77,000 while most cost about $145,000. About 10,000 volunteers chipped in over the course of the project to help build the buildings and outfit their interiors to LEED Gold and Energy Star requirements. In a time when the amount of affordable housing available to low-income New York City residents is falling Habitat for Humanity has finished this project and has started or is finishing projects in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens — many with green features.
New York City is in dire need of more affordable housing — a fact highlighted by the 10,000 families that applied for the 41 slots available in the Atlantic Avenue Apartments. It’s great that the city is focusing some of their affordable efforts on places like the Habitat for Humanity green buildings and the up and coming renovation of the Domino Sugar factory on the East River. We applaud them for the green leanings and we hope that as these projects grow their LEED certification and green efforts continue.
Via New York Times