Two Shades of Green

Organization Name: Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Project Title: Two Shades of Green

Project Location: City wide

Project Goals:
Two Shades of Green (TSG) integrates green, healthy and cost-effective measures into existing affordable housing rehabilitation and property maintenance. To strengthen program delivery, LISC mobilizes a range of affordable housing, community health and building science stakeholders. Partners include: NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Steven Winters Associates, Mount Sinai and Community Development Corporation (CDC) partners.

TSG was formed with the recognition that substandard housing conditions have an adverse impact on health. As the costs of housing maintenance soar, buildings are strained financially, which reduces the resources available to address preventable health problems like asthma, obesity and heart disease. In addition, LISC NYC focuses on preserving the physical integrity, financial viability and sustainability of the affordable housing we helped nonprofit groups develop over the years.

Project Description:
To advance energy and water conservation and health measures, TSG provides services to affordable housing owners and managers: Benchmarking to measure project performance; Conducting Health Green Physical Needs Assessments; Coordinating with incentive programs; Preparing financing packages to support retrofits; Training on operation and maintenance plans; Providing guidance on specifications, vendors and health programming. TSG provides technical support to help affordable owners integrate health measures: Safe pest control—reduces exposure to toxic pesticides and seals holes to prevent pests from entering; Smoke-free housing—reduces resident exposure to secondhand smoke, reduces fire risk, and decreases the cost of preparing units for new renters; Active design—increases physical activity through modifications to buildings; Green cleaning—reduces exposure to harmful chemicals through the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Community Impact:
In collaboration with NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, TSG has integrated energy efficiency, water conservation, pest management, non-toxic cleaning, smoke-free policy, and active design features into 1,000 units of affordable housing. This model has improved the health and wellness of housing residents and building staff and helped lower energy use by 20% and water consumption by more than 30%. It has also reduced maintenance cleaning costs on average by 25% after transitioning buildings to green cleaning products.

Organization Description:
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national nonprofit organization that equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people with low and moderate incomes can thrive. The local New York City program, LISC NYC, works with nonprofit, community-based organizations to develop affordable housing, commercial enterprises and community facilities. Over the past 36 years, LISC NYC has invested over $2.5 billion, leveraging an additional $5.7 billion in low-income communities. This has resulted in 37,000 affordable homes built and preserved as well as 1.7 million square feet of retail and community space created. We also invest in health, economic development, financial well-being and environmental sustainability so that the communities our partners serve are good places to live, work, do business and raise children.

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