Earth Week 2020

During Earth Week, we'll post a case study of a #greenHDFC every day, along with actions you can take from the safety of your home to fight for a liveable Earth for all.

This Earth Week, we're faced with the immediate crisis of Coronavirus, and the ever-present crisis of climate change. Like Coronavirus, the impact of climate change reveals stark inequities: Black and Latinx New Yorkers are twice as likely to die from Coronavirus as white New Yorkers, and climate change will affect people of color and residents of affordable housing more severely and in more disruptive ways than their white and affluent counterparts.

Read our Earth Day statement on the resilience of HDFCs.

We are filled with grief hearing from HDFC residents about how they are impacted by the virus and changing economic situations. And we are inspired by the stories of mutual aid and community support that we’re hearing from our HDFC community. Our hearts go out, with love and support, to our entire community during this trying time.

We know our community is strong and resilient. From Coronavirus to climate change, we can fight for a liveable future through solutions like clean, renewable solar energy.

Click here to see UHAB's Coronavirus Resource Center for HDFCs

 

Friday's #greenHDFC: Health Justice

416 W. 129 St HDFC

 

This #greenHDFC in Harlem is our most recent installation. It's part of the first wave of HDFCs producing clean, localized energy. Communities of color like Harlem are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, not just because of air and water pollution that creates preexisting conditions like asthma, but because in a city where white-collar workers are able to stay at home, essential workers are still risking their lives to keep things running. Although citywide, MTA ridership is down, trains to and from the Bronx and other communities of color are still full of essential workers of all kinds, often without proper protective equipment. See how 416 W. 129 St HDFC is fighting for a healthier neighborhood here.

 

Friday's Action: Support essential workers!

 

Today's action is to support essential workers by signing this petition in support of Amazon workers. 

If you have PPE like masks or gloves and don't need them, consider donating them to an essential worker. You can find a place to donate through your local mutual aid group. Find a group at mutualaid.nyc.


Thursday's #greenHDFC: Solar for affordability

310-312 W. 122nd St HDFC

Today's #greenHDFC will save over $100K over their solar panels' lifetime. That's a lot of money towards keeping affordable housing affordable! This means lower costs for residents, the ability to reinvest back into their building, and a rainy day fund to protect their HDFC. Campaigns like Co-ops Go Solar make the process accessible to low-income homeowners, and offer free financial analysis so residents can be sure solar will be a safe investment. Low- and no-money-down options like solar loans make this technology accessible to a wide range of affordable co-ops. Learn how 310-312 w 122nd St went solar here!

Thursday's Action: Explore your solar options

Signing up for solar is a step towards a more sustainable and healthy city for everyone, and it saves money. If you're an HDFC shareholder, you can go to uhab.coop/gosolar to learn more about the Co-ops Go Solar campaign. If you're a renter, you can subscribe to community solar to save on electricity with offsite panel Go to herecomessolar.nyc/community-solar to learn more.


Wednesday's #greenHDFC: Race, climate, and crisis

470 Convent Ave HDFC

Todays #greenHDFC is 470 Convent Ave HDFC in Hamilton Heights. A community of color, Hamilton Heights is on the frontlines of climate change and the pandemic. COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting black and brown neighborhoods. This isn't surprising: for decades communities of color have faced growing inequities in clean air and water. For decades pleas from these same communities for access to resources have gone unheard. However we still see leaders in these communities pave the way for a more sustainable NYC. Click here to learn how 470 Convent Ave worked for environmental justice in their community.

Wednesday's Action: Learn more about environmental racism

Read this article to see how environmental racism looks today, and how air pollution makes us all more vulnerable to crisis. Then, read this letter from Co-ops Go Solar to see how we understand our work within the context of this crisis. 


Tuesday's #greenHDFC: Just Transition

45-53 W. 110th St HDFC

 

This #greenHDFC participated in the SUN campaign with WE ACT of Upper Manhattan and Solar One. This campaign created five solar installation jobs for local residents.

This combination of cost savings for low income residents, worker protection, and sustainability is key to a Just Transition: a transition to clean energy that transforms economic and governmental systems to create a more just society for workers, families, people of color, and all of us. The Climate Justice Alliance developed this framework. See 45-53 W. 110th St HDFC's story here!

Tuesday's Action: Support the organizations putting a Just Transition into practice!

Today's action is to check out two environmental justice organizations, WE ACT in Upper Manhattan and UPROSE in Sunset Park, and learn about grassroots efforts to create a Just Transition in our city. If you can, consider donating to these two amazing organizations.


Monday's #greenHDFC: Community response to climate change

128 W. 138 St HDFC

We've seen our community respond to climate change in dynamic and tenacious ways. Today's #greenHDFC worked with UHAB and Solar One to became one of the first solar HDFCs. "This has sort of gotten people excited about projects," said Kate, a board member. "People are feeling good about what we’re doing, and the building coming together." See their full story here!

 

Monday's Action: Stand up for homeless New Yorkers!

 

As we come together to build more resilient neighborhoods in the face of crisis, we're struck by the fact that not all our community members have homes to shelter in. Today's #EarthWeek action is to sign this petition to demand a plan from Cuomo and DeBlasio to shelter homeless New Yorkers in the face of COVID-19.
 

Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next case study. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see the rest of the case studies, and share your HDFC's story using the hashtag #greenHDFC!

 This money means lower monthly costs for residents, the ability to reinvest in their building, and a rainy day fund to protect their HDFC.