Being green is a core commitment for WHEDco. Our buildings are energy-efficient. We have an on-staff sustainability manager (see below). We provide tools and training to help our residents and staff actively participate in our efforts.
We’re green because we want to protect the environment. But the truth is, it’s also a pocketbook issue. Our green initiatives help us save 30% on our energy bills each month. Tenants save, too – between 20% and 30%, depending on what they do at home to reduce energy consumption.
WHEDco’s Sustainability Manager Valerie Neng appears on the cover of a recent City Limits article that praises Urban Horizons as a retrofit success story. Click here to read how WHEDco has built a roadmap for bringing older housing stock up to PlanNYC standards – while building great affordable housing.
WHEDco’s forthcoming Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) will be the first public space dedicated to celebrating the borough’s rich musical legacy. Groundbreaking for the campus – which will include performance and studio space, apartments, and a music school – is slated for 2013(?) in the new Bronx Commons in the Melrose neighborhood.
But why wait? In April, WHEDco launched the Circa ’95 Pop-Up Shop at the BMHC Laboratory, a temporary performance, gallery and retail space housed in a storefront at Intervale Green. Curated by artist in residence Hip Hop duo Circa ’95, the 1,400 square-foot shop is hosting events through July, including artist and community networking mixers, performances, artist talkbacks, art-making seminars and wellness workshops. View calendar of events. The shop sells clothing, jewelry, music and art by NYC artists and designers. Visitors will get a sneak peak at renderings of BMHC and engage in dialogues about its exciting future.
Come by and add your two cents! The Circa ’95 Pop-Up Shop will be open to the public through July 28, on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00 to 6:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 12:00 to 7:00 pm.
With a focus on environmental stewardship and healthy living, our affordable housing developments continue to garner accolades. Most recently, the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) presented WHEDco with the 2012 Development of the Year Award for Intervale Green, the nation's largest multi-family, Energy Star certified affordable housing development.
“Intervale Green really shows WHEDco’s dedication to transforming their neighborhood,” said ANHD Executive Director Benjamin Dulchin. “They took a lot that had been vacant for 25 years and turned it into housing, green space, and one of the most valuable community resources the neighborhood has.”
Intervale Green is more than just a green development; it’s a catalyst for change in the Crotona East neighborhood. We have been pioneers: In the six years since Intervale Green’s groundbreaking, five additional apartment buildings with over 500 units have been developed. We have been organizers: We helped form the Southern Boulevard Merchant Association, improving the streetscape from Crotona Park to Hunts Point, and driving the commercial vacancies on Southern Boulevard down by 8%.
Intervale Green, completed in 2009, is WHEDco’s second affordable housing development. The 128-unit building is 33% more energy efficient than conventional New York apartments, boasts a rooftop urban farm, and houses social services and youth programming for residents. One-third of the apartments are dedicated to housing formerly homeless families and 90% of residents have rent subsidies.
On April 12, eight young chess players from our After School program at PS/MS 218 boarded a plane bound for Minneapolis, where they competed in the United States Chess Federation’s National Championship tournament.
Though participating in the high school division, WHEDco’s middle school team excelled, finishing 18th out of 64 teams of top players from all across the country. The trip was a first-of-a-kind experience for the kids; many had never been on an airplane and none had traveled to the Midwest before.
WHEDco’s chess team helps students in the South Bronx learn discipline, apply math skills and develop confidence. This year, we partnered with the Chess-in-the-Schools organization, expanding our team’s schedule of Saturday tournaments throughout the city. After attending over a dozen tournaments – and winning a lot of matches – our outstanding kids became eligible to attend Nationals.