Friday, April 17, 2009

Earth Friendly, Low-Cost Housing For Women in The Bronx


Nancy Biberman, founder of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo), has done something that sets an example for low-income housing developers in urban areas.

Nancy has taken an old, rotting piece of property in The Bronx and converted it into eco-friendly housing for the poor. The site is called Intervale Green and, from the sounds of it, is a place that even those of us who don’t exactly fall under the low-income category would be happy to live.

It is the largest affordable apartment complex in the United States to receive a federal Energy Star certification. The appliances are all highly energy efficient and materials used for the interior include birch-esque vinyl flooring and Italian tiles donated by a flooring company. Light fixtures in and on the building are fluorescent. All of these features result in a 30 per cent decrease in utility costs in comparison to that of a conventional building.

Biberman has spent much of her career working on projects similar to Intervale Green; She has revamped over 23 abandoned buildings in The Bronx and is a dedicated advocate of improved housing for women (who make up the majority of low-income citizens) using eco-friendly solutions to make differences in poverty stricken communities.

I ‘m a firm believer that even the aesthetics of ones surroundings play a great role in the positivity of an individual’s outlook on life. Having the opportunity to live in an environment that isn’t laden with pests and decay has got to have an exceptional effect on the inhabitant.

I have great hopes for the lucky folks who will have the chance to dwell in a space like Intervale Green. Living in a building that has been constructed by organizations that have considered the residents’ place in society is likely to give any one a good boost in confidence as well as a sort of heightened self-esteem. As we’ve discussed in the past, self esteem might not be all there is… it’s just that there’s nothing without it.

Read the full article from AlterNet.org or watch the CNN feature below. You can find out about how to make a donation by visiting this link.


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