Yonkers breaks ground on affordable housing project for seniors
The City of Yonkers broke ground Wednesday on an affordable housing project for seniors.
Future residents of the 60-unit building could see their monthly utility bills go from several hundred dollars down to just $30.
The city Housing Authority says one benefit that's going to come from this energy efficient and environmentally friendly project is based on what's known as passive house standards.
Passive house, a concept that originated in Germany, focuses on making a building so airtight and well insulated that it reduces energy consumption by up to 85%.
The Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers joined Westchester County Executive George Latimer and some members of the county Legislature to hold the ceremonial groundbreaking for La Mora Senior Housing on Mulberry Street.
The build makes it so very little energy is needed to heat an apartment. Heat from the appliances can heat a room. The design also makes for better indoor air quality.
Energy efficient lighting and appliances will furnish the building.
Wilson Kimball, the CEO of the Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers, says following passive house standards makes a building like this cost a third more to build than a regular building. She expects this one to save enough money on energy to make it worth it.
Kimball says the city is planning another passive house project and that they want to make this more of a movement than a novelty.
"It's great for the environment, for the neighbors and the people who live here, but we think it's better actually for the bigger environment. Once you work on addressing climate change, you help everybody,” she says.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano praised all the city agencies for working together over a long period of time and completing expensive projects just to prepare for this building.
He says it cost $1 million just to demolish the old vacant school that used to be in the lot.