Boston Housing Authority Official Discusses Greenhouse Gas Reduction & Sustainability Initiatives with NBC Boston

Date Published: 
October 10th, 2023

From NBC 10 Boston: 

It’s been nearly two months since Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, signed an executive order banning fossil fuels from city buildings by the year 2050, and work toward those goals is well underway.

The Boston Housing Authority holds one of the city's largest shares of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The BHA’s fossil fuel-free target is even more aggressive — it hopes to be carbon-free by 2030.

Joel Wool, deputy administrator for Sustainability and Capital Transformation, says the housing authority has sustainability top of mind in its 10,000-unit portfolio. The entity has started integrating low-energy and carbon-free building practices.

Wool says “rapidly reducing emissions” is important, but aggressive action should prioritize people of color, and low-income residents of Boston, as they are least responsible for the climate crisis.

”What we're doing when we retrofit public housing and what when we make it more sustainable is we're ensuring that the people who have been bearing the greatest burdens of the climate crisis can also benefit from the new green future that we were trying to build together,” Wool adds.

One of those facilities undergoing replacement and renovation is the Homes at Anne Lynch at Old Colony. Architects identified it as one of the nation’s oldest federal public housing developments. The campus has undergone extensive renovations, modifications and rebuilds, since its original inception in 1940.

The sustainable multi-building campus design is the result of partnerships between the City of Boston, the BHA, The Architectural Team (TAT), and Beacon Communities.

Two phases of affordable and sustainable housing were completed nearly a decade ago. They feature improved windows and ventilation units. The enhanced ventilation has already proven significant when it comes to reducing the risk of asthma for residents, specifically children.

Read NBC 10 Boston's article "Passive house design is on display in Boston's affordable housing portfolio."

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