We love environmentally-friendly housing, but there's no arguing that it can get very, very expensive. That's why we're so impressed by the new Dinkins Gardens building: it's Harlem's first "green" affordable housing. Named for the former New York City mayor, the David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens building includes "south-facing solar shades, a Home Depot Foundation-funded green roof, individually ventilated apartments, Energy Star-rated appliances and lighting, and a graywater system that will irrigate landscaping and a community garden," according to Green Buildings NYC.
The building's apartments will go to low income residents and to young adults aging out of foster care. Not only will the housing have affordable rent, the solar panels and energy-efficient appliances will lead to lower utility bills. We hope that New York City will continue to develop projects like this so that soon they're the norm, not the exception. Retrofitting older buildings with green solutions wouldn't hurt either.