Tenants Call For Green Kitchens In NYCHA Buildings

An electric burner glows green on a stove
63/365 Spirals photo by Jellaluna is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tenants living in housing owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have come up with a great idea to get the ball rolling on a Green New Deal and it starts in the kitchen.

Some kitchens in NYCHA kitchens are equipped with gas stoves. If the aging gas pipes spring a leak, there is no money to fix them. The remedy is to cut off the gas and provide tenants with a hot plate.

The Tenants’ plan is to replace gas stoves with electric ones, and install solar panels on the roof.

Removing the remaining gas stoves will reduce the CO emissions. There’s also a health benefit because gas stoves make it harder for tenants with asthma to breathe.

Critics have suggested that electric stoves will strain the city’s electricity supply. Adding the solar panels would reduce the demand. There is also a question about whether the roofs can support the weight of the solar panels. The tenants point out that there is an opportunity to reinforce the roofs as they are due for replacement.

This idea will be of interest to any housing provider who operates a building with gas stoves. It will also be useful to the coalition promoting the Green New Deal. Anyone concerned about asthma and respiratory illness might want to review the information in the article about gas stoves.

Read more at GOTHAM GAZETTE: Want to Fix NYCHA? Start in the Kitchen

The courts, HUD and NYCHA itself have come up with numerous schemes to save NYCHA housing from complete destruction. NYCHA tenants have made numerous offers to participate in the effort, but these have largely fallen on deaf ears. This proposal will face an uphill battle, even though it would improve individual health for people with asthma and global health by reducing emissions. In the face of the unrelenting negativity that surrounds public housing in the U.S., it is hard to imagine that this idea will succeed. Supporters might draw hope and strategy from this initiative in Wales: Can Existing Social Housing Go ‘Green’ One Baby Step At A Time?

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