True Colors Named NYC Supportive Housing Residence of the Year

West End ResidencesTrue Colors has been honored as the 2013 NYC Residence of the Year by the Supportive Housing Network of New York.

Supportive Housing Network Deputy Executive Director Nicole Branca presented the award to Colleen Jackson, Executive Director of West End Residences, at the Network’s annual awards gala on Oct 16th.

Located in northern Manhattan, True Colors Residence (TCR) is New York’s first supportive housing residence serving exclusively lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth – who are among the most underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers. It is a project of West End Residences HDFC, Inc. with partners Cyndi Lauper and her manager, Lisa Barbaris.

Branca painted a stark portrait of the situation facing New York’s homeless youth, urging more providers to make plans to serve them, and LGBT youth in particular:

“In New York City more than 1 out of every 10 single homeless people are youth – unaccompanied youth – but less than 2% of our supportive housing is for youth, and only 30 units for LGBT youth. Technically, youth have the same right to shelter as everybody else in the City – and yet there are thousands of homeless youth as we stand here right now and only 253 City-funded shelter beds. And 40% of homeless youth are LGBT.  So True Colors has finally given 30 young adults a place of their own, safe from the streets – an especially harrowing place for LGBT homeless youth – and the services here to get them past the unbelievable trauma that these young people have had to experience.”

True Colors contains 30 studio apartments with community space, a library, computer room, and garden, as well as offices for supportive services. The design team for the project was Edelman Sultan Knox Wood/ Architects LLP with Abraham Joselow (MEP Engineer.)  The builder was C&A Construction Corp.

The Association for Energy Affordability was the NYSERDA Partner for the project.  AEA’s Madhuri Jannumahanthi and Gina Buffone provided energy consulting, energy modeling and construction management services to enable the building to meet its energy goals to qualify for incentives under the New Construction component of NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program (MPP).  These incentives, and the reduced operating costs that come from energy efficient building design, help supportive housing providers to devote their limited financial resources to serving their tenants. The NYSERDA MPP goal at that time was to achieve energy savings of at least 20% over the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standard. The project exceeded this goal by 3%,  qualifying it for a higher tier of incentives from NYSERDA. Construction was completed in 2011.

Learn more about the Supportive Housing Network award for True Colors here.  See information about the residence on on West End’s website here.  Read about all the 2013 SHNNY award winners here.

To date, AEA has served as MPP Partner for 34 green new construction projects in New York State, of which 17 have been supportive housing or mixed use (i.e., supportive and affordable housing) residences.  Read about AEA’s green building design services here.

Click here to view AEA’s client list of developers and providers of new affordable and supportive housing in New York that we have served as NYSERDA Partners under the Multifamily Performance Program.

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