Green Houses for the Poor

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No, not green houses where you take care of your trees and plants. I’m talking about green houses that are highly energy-efficient.

In the hard-hit area of the South Bronx, the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo), which is a well-known New York non-profit organization, has its own housing project. The project, called the Intervale Green housing development, has 128 separate apartments for low-income families.

These apartments don’t have any real ground-breaking technologies or anything that would be considered “fancy.” The apartments are built with energy-efficient appliances, insulated windows, and fluorescent lights. While this may seem unimpressive, these apartments save around 30 percent more money on facilities than other comparably-sized apartments. When we’re talking about people who live at or below the poverty line, this is a massive amount of money saved.

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This movement in the Bronx for green-energy housing is showing up in other parts of the country. Miami, Chicago, Portland, and even Jacksonville, FL, all have projects currently being worked on or are in the planning stages of building these affordable, green apartment complexes. These non-profit organizations believe that if you can build these types of apartments for low-income families, why can’t all houses, apartments, and buildings built from now on have the same energy-saving structures?

Between being affordable, clean, and safe for the environment, and doing a service for the community, these green apartments are doing a lot of good for a small amount of money. All they could use is some clean energy, such as solar or wind power.

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