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May. 9, 2011

Affordable Seniors Housing Meets Green Certification in the Bronx

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer

Bronx, N.Y.–Serviam Gardens II, a 158-unit affordable seniors housing community in the Bronx has made its debut, as well as local green history. Developed by Bedford Housing Corp., the apartment building won the distinction of being the first New York City-subsidized affordable housing project to reach completion with Enterprise Green Communities Certification since the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) instituted a mandate in January requiring all City-funded low-income housing construction projects to obtain the aforementioned certification.

Fordham Bedford Housing Corp. developed Serviam Gardens II, which, combined with the two-year-old Serviam Gardens I, provides a 243-unit affordable housing complex to accommodate seniors earning 28 to 80 percent of the area median income. Fordham Bedford secured financing from both public and private sources for the $47.3 million project.

OCV Architects designed the eight-story structure, working with Fordham Bedford to employ a long list of green features from the beginning of development to the end. Sustainable features at Serviam Gardens II include an 8,000 square-foot green roof-garden terrace for the reduction of storm water impact, and a 23,000 square-foot landscaped “urban farm” exclusive to residents. Additionally, units feature energy-efficient lighting and appliances, low VOC paint and low E-argon-filled windows for enhanced insulation.

“We are proud to have been able to create a safe and secure state-of-the-art facility for New York seniors that is built to green standards that are beneficial to residents and will serve the community for years to come” Eric Bederman, HPD press secretary, tells MHN. “A project like this keeps New York City at the forefront of the development of affordable housing and the creation of a sustainable city for New Yorkers.

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