While one of New York City’s newest housing developments will bring in the green in ratables, the project shows that it can be easy being environmentally green as well.
In March, David & Joyce Dinkins Gardens, an exclusively green, $19.5-million, 85-unit affordable-housing complex, opened in Manhattan’s Harlem. It’s part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan, first announced in 2003, to build 165,000 units of affordable housing for 500,000 residents over the next decade. The completion of Dinkins Gardens, which includes 24 units for youths aging out of foster care, could signal a trend toward more eco-minded housing solutions.
The block-and-plank building uses innovative energy and water-efficient designs, mechanical systems, and equipment; nontoxic and recycled material; a green roof; rain-water harvesting; permeable paving; and natural day lighting — all strategies to demonstrate that green affordable housing can be cost-effective in dense urban neighborhoods.
Co-developed by Jonathan Rose Companies and the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI), the building — directly across the Harlem River from Yankee Stadium — is named for the former New York City mayor and his wife. It is being touted as a new model for affordable housing, according to Rose, because it offers social services and job training. HCCI, a nonprofit interfaith consortium of more than 90 congregations, owns and operates the complex.