The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has devised a plan to reduce CO2 emissions and ensure that affordable housing residents have resilient homes that can endure the effects of climate change.

In 2016, the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda was developed as a 10-year roadmap for healthy and comfortable homes able to withstand the impacts of climate change, in addition to supporting the city’s commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The plan outlines 17 strategies to reduce NYCHA’s carbon footprint by 30% by 2025, foster resilience, and safeguard resident wellness, including improving heating and hot water efficiency, establishing standards for new buildings and improving existing buildings, adopting large-scale use of clean energy, and connecting residents to economic opportunity.

Flood risk and stormwater management are a priority, with resilience plans in development for all housing vulnerable to coastal flooding, including risk assessments and retrofit guidelines based on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy. Phase one of the stormwater infrastructure implementation projects have the potential to capture approximately 72 million liters per year. Additionally, NYCHA will provide back-up power for all Sandy-affected developments, develop microgrids at certain developments, and install 25 MW of solar power.

330,000 metric tons of CO2 estimated to be reduced by 2025 via measures deployed under the NYCHA Sustainability Agenda

The challenge

The NYCHA serves 400,000 residents and provides amenities that contribute to the social cohesion of entire neighborhoods. However, many of these residents are particularly vulnerable to climate change, with 54,000 living in a 100-year flood plain. The NYCHA Sustainability Agenda contributes to the city’s CO2 reduction goals, but also ensures developments adapt to weather impacts, so residents are not displaced.


Economic The strategies laid out in the Sustainability Agenda will contribute about $980 million toward decreasing NYCHA’s capital needs and reduce energy- and water-related costs.

Environmental By the end 2015, recycling infrastructure had been installed in 99 NYCHA developments housing more than 150,000 residents.

Health Repairing roofs, fixing leaking plumbing, and modernizing ventilation improves the respiratory health of, and the heat-related conditions for, residents.

Social NYCHA will recruit 100 young residents for sustainability training provided by local community organizations as part of the Sustainability Agenda.

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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