NYC Cool Roofs Wants to Keep Bed-Stuy Cool

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August 21st – The housing market in Bedford-Stuyvesant is not the only thing getting hotter. Each year, temperatures in the neighborhood, along with other low income communities are experiencing higher than average temperatures. Neighborhoods with higher population density, low median incomes and older building stock, like the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn are heating up faster than the rest of the city are designated “Heat vulnerable communities”. The “Urban Heat Island” effect is made worse by dark colored buildings and streets, lack of green space, and a shortage of air conditioned spaces, which can raise temperatures 10 to 20 degrees higher than average temperatures in the city.

Programs like NYC Cool Roofs, are actively working on a solutions. NYC Cool Roofs, a city initiative operated by a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability & Recovery and Resiliency, NYC Department of Small Business Services, Sustainable South Bronx, a division of The Hope Program. Restoration joined with NYC Cool Roofs to unveil the reflective coating on the 6500 square foot rooftop of 1330 Fulton Street, owned and managed by Metropolitan Realty Group.

This building was chosen for coating by Restoration as an extension of retrofitting work completed inside the building performed by the Weatherization program. Restoration has a longstanding relationship with the property, having developed it as part of their successful leveraging of more than $100 million investment along the Fulton Street business district. Including the formation of the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District and developing hundreds of units of affordable housing.  

Since 2006, the program has coated 9.2 million square feet of rooftops have been coated by hiring New Yorkers for work in the green economy. Greg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) opened the event, “The reflective coating is not being performed by a professional team, but job seeking New Yorkers interested in gaining experience for future related employment. In building a more sustainable city, NYC Cool Roofs is also providing local job seekers with training and paid work experience coating roof tops. With initiatives like NYC Cool Roofs, New York City leads the way as a national model in the fight against Climate Change. Our program is proof that sustainability can benefit the city as a whole.”

Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency “Higher temperatures are not only an inconvenience, they can also be deadly. Heat kills more New Yorkers than all natural disasters combined, disproportionally impacting low income communities, communities of color and the elderly. Through NYC Cool Roofs, the city provides protective paint and installation at a low cost to building owners, and at no cost to organizations that provide social services. This year, we have coated 1.5 million square feet of rooftops, far exceeding our 2018 goal.” As part of the city’s “Cool Neighborhoods NYC Strategy” mitigating and adapting to extreme heat we will work with community partners and SBS to conduct outreach to increase our contribution to climate change.”

Toby Sheppard Bloch, Chief Venture Officer, The HOPE Program and Sustainable South BronxThe Cool Roofs program extends the progress that Restoration’s Weatherization program has accomplished for a more energy efficiency neighborhood. These roofs will help reduce surface temperatures by up to 40 degrees, extending the lifecycle of the membrane of the roof, and increasing energy efficiency. NYC Cool Roofs creates employment opportunities for job seeking New Yorkers, seeking pathways to the green collar economy. For participants the benefits are enumerable, 10 weeks of paid work, industry recognized certifications for careers in construction, and workforce development services. All this adds up to career opportunities in rapidly growing sustainability sector.”

Restoration's Weatherization program, Greg Bishop, Jainey Bavishi, Toby Sheppard Bloch, and workers from NYC Cool Roofs

Learn more about NYC Cool Roofs and Restoration’s Weatherization program