Green Infrastructure and planning services to prevent flooding and heat islands has been awarded an up to $900,000 Green Innovation Program grant by NYS Regional Economic Development Council
YONKERS, NY (December, 2021) – An innovative green infrastructure plan developed by Groundwork Hudson Valley in partnership with The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY) has been awarded an up to $900,000 grant to prevent heat islands and flooding at Housing Authority properties.
The proposed work will benefit hundreds of low-income residents in modest apartment buildings across the MHACY system. It is part of a larger environmental justice effort to correct policies that in the past have caused communities of color to suffer a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences.
The grant announcement was made on December 14 by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office and the Environmental Facilities Corporation.
“We are grateful to Gov. Kathy Hochul and the State of New York for their progressive policies that work to correct past actions that have adversely our communities,’’ said Wilson Kimball, President and CEO of MHACY. “This program with our partner Hudson Valley Groundwork will not only improve conditions for our residents, but will create jobs in our community for young people interested in environment justice and green careers. We are excited to get started.”
Brigitte Griswold, Groundwork’s Executive Director, who is leading a broader Climate Safe Neighborhoods Initiative for the city, said XXX.
The plan announced earlier this year is a partnership with Groundwork Hudson Valley and leading urban design firm, Mark K. Morrison Landscape Architecture, to provide green infrastructure and planning services at four MHACY housing sites.
Under the proposal, environmentally friendly landscaping using native plantings would be completed at the Ross F. Calcagno Homes, Joseph F. Loehr Court, Kris Kristensen Homes, and Msgr. Cajetan J. Troy Manor in Yonkers.
The project would hire Yonkers youth who will be part of “Green Teams” and will plant trees and build bioswales to reduce flooding and minimize pollution from storm water runoff. The goal is to create a green oasis in urban areas that will significantly reduce stormwater pollution into four major waterways – the Hudson, Saw Mill, Sprain, and Bronx Rivers. The “greening” will help to reduce heat during the summers as large areas of asphalt that trap sunlight are the cause of higher temperatures that plague urban areas.
The landscaping project will put the finishing touches on more than $800 million which have been invested over the past five years to modernize more than 1,700 units of housing run by the Municipal Housing Authority in Yonkers.
The partnership between MHACY and Groundwork Hudson Valley is an outgrowth of a study that was released in February that laid out a far-reaching plan for promoting environmental resiliency in one of the region’s largest affordable housing systems. The Hudson Valley region is expecting more intense rainfall over the next decade and many more heat waves due to climate change. Research shows that people living in low-income areas are more vulnerable to climate risks due to historic redlining policies that left them in more environmentally hazardous neighborhoods.
Please find a link to the study here: https://www.groundworkhv.org/2021/02/feasibility-study-for-green-infrastructure/
About the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers
The Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (“MHACY”) owns and manages a wide variety of properties, and administers a Housing Choice Voucher Program, to provide affordable, stable, decent and safe housing opportunities within the City of Yonkers. In pursuing our mission we work collaboratively with federal and state officials, and with the City of Yonkers, as their participation and assistance is essential in addressing the housing needs of families with very low income.
About Groundwork Hudson Valley
Groundwork Hudson Valley creates sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership, and economic opportunity. For over twenty years, Groundwork has made neighborhoods more livable and sustainable through an array of on-the-ground environmental projects that directly involve local residents. We restore rivers and build trails, parks, and playgrounds. We engage community members in all of our work – with a particular focus on educating and employing young people. For more information, contact Groundwork Hudson Valley at 914-375-2151 or visit our website at groundworkhv.org.