New York City’s new program maintains housing affordability while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by providing energy audits and low-cost financing to small property owners.

New York City’s Green Housing Preservation Program (GHPP) aims to reduce housing costs and greenhouse gas emissions in the city’s affordable housing sector by easing barriers to undertake energy efficiency and water conservation improvements. Under the program, property owners, who often perceive housing improvements as out of reach, gain access to energy audit information and low- or no-cost financing for key retrofit measures. With efficiency improvements such as the installation of efficiency controls, it is anticipated that owners may see more than a 10% annual reduction in utility costs, which account for roughly 25% of the average operating budget of a rent-stabilized building.

GHPP has the potential to impact a large number of owners and tenants in the city, as almost two-thirds of New York’s rental apartment buildings are eligible for the program. In addition to securing the climate resilience of owners and tenants in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, the initiative is an important aspect of the city’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by 30% below 2005 levels by 2025.

475 units will be assisted by the GHPP in the program’s first year

The challenge

Thirty-five percent of New York’s emissions come from residential buildings; however, many small or medium property owners do not have the means to undertake retrofits as they also face mounting utility and operating costs. GHPP enables the city’s affordable housing sector to undertake retrofits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining housing affordability.


Economic Energy efficiency improvements could yield an average annual savings of approximately $1,500 per building for a 10-unit building and $3,000 for a 20-unit building.

Environmental GHPP decreases greenhouse gas emissions and increases the city’s resilience to extreme weather events.

Health Reducing greenhouse gas emissions reduces air pollutants, lowering risks for asthma, heart disease, and premature death.

Social Reductions in utility costs can help affordable buildings with restricted cash flow better prepare for financial and climate-related shocks and repair needs.

About New York City

The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2016 population of 8,537,673 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known, and the city received a record 61 million tourists in 2016, hosting three of the world’s ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013.

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