New Concern for Independent Living residence in Crown Heights is latest product of ongoing collaboration with AEA

Brooklyn’s nonprofit, Concern for Independent Living held a ribbon cutting event on September 28, 2012 for Concern Heights Apartments, a 90-unit mixed-use energy-efficient affordable and supportive housing residence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The new development will provide 60 units of affordable housing and supportive services to formerly homeless individuals with disabilities plus 30 units of affordable housing for low-income individuals and families from the community.

Commissioner Michael Hogan of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) described three core goals of the project: “To provide a foundation for recovery for people with a mental illness or who’ve been homeless; … to provide affordable housing for people from this community who absent this might have no place to turn; [and] to create an … anchor of a community’s recovery.” He predicted that the development would “be a cornerstone of the revitalization of this part of Brooklyn.”


The total development cost for The Concern Heights Apartments was $30.8 million, funded by 9% Tax Credits issued by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, grants from the New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance/Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, a $13 million loan from The Community Preservation Corporation, and an Affordable Housing Program grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York through Astoria Federal Savings.

Elizabeth Lunde of Concern for Independent Living recognized AEA and Bright Power as Concern’s “partners in helping us make this a green project, which is really important to us.” The building is projected to save 20% in energy costs over a comparable building meeting basic codes. These savings come from rooftop solar installations and a suite of energy efficiency measures. Other energy efficiency measures included Energy Star lighting and appliances in the apartment units, lighting controls, high-efficiency windows, low-flow water showerheads and faucets. The building features multiple lounges, a computer room, exercise room, community room and outdoor gardens.

After the conclusion of the formal program AEA’s Xixi Chen showed interested onlookers the high-efficiency boiler system and the heat exchanger, enabling the building to provide hot water without the need for a storage tank.

AEA worked closely with the development of Concern’s newest project as an approved Multifamily Performance Partner in NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program (MPP). AEA’s role as the MPP Partner is to develop, and help to implement, a scope of work that will improve the project’s energy performance by 15 percent. As a project manager under contract with the building owner, manager or developer, AEA works to achieve the building performance goals and access the financial incentives available through the New Construction component of this NYSERDA program.onlookers the high-efficient boiler system and the heat exchanger, enabling the building to provide hot water without the need for a storage tank.

AEA’s New Construction team consulted on the energy saving measures, provided energy modeling, and construction commissioning-testing for related energy saving measures. AEA provided construction inspection to ensure the project was meeting the program requirements and the commissioning aspect of the project.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke saw the project as fostering a way to move beyond conversations about “what will our new neighbors be like?” to embracing our neighbors in ways that “strengthen our humanity.”

“We all know that we need more affordable housing and support for those who are at risk of homelessness, said Comptroller John Liu. “Concern Heights is proof that when we work together, the public and private sectors can create great projects that not only protect affordable housing but create buildings that people will be proud to call home.”

Concern for Independent Living, Inc. is committed to helping low income persons and persons with disabilities to live in the community with dignity and enhanced opportunities through the provision of housing and support services. Concern is one of the largest housing agencies of this kind in New York State, currently serving nearly 800 individuals and families in over 200 locations. Concern offers a variety of housing options with individualized support services designed to support personal growth and independence.

The Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. (AEA) offers broad range of consulting and engineering services to help building owners, developers and residents of both new and existing buildings save energy and increase occupant comfort and air quality through energy efficiency, by installing measures including efficient heating and hot water systems and controls, ventilation systems, high-efficiency lighting and controls, and effective air sealing and insulation.

AEA’s experienced staff is well acquainted with regional and national funding and financing opportunities to assist building owners in accessing funds to defray the costs of capital improvements.

Many property owners and construction teams find it difficult to adapt energy audit recommendations into a buildable scope of work. AEA’s team develops the work scope and system specifications, and provides technical support, construction assistance and administration. We work with the project from the initial site visit to the construction close-out and post inspection to ensure that it is built and performs as specified. We offer training to ensure that that the building staff operates and properly maintain the new energy efficient equipment.

For information about AEA’s green new construction services, click here.

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