May 4, 2009

Building Green at the Fortune Academy Complex

On par with finding a job, locating stable housing can be one of the biggest challenges for individuals returning from incarceration. Often, families are unwilling or unable to accept back their relatives -- either because they have had enough of the individual's behavior, or because they live in public housing that prohibits the family from allowing the individual to live with them. In addition, housing discrimination is widespread in the private housing market; and the conditions of parole dictate that any arrangements have to be approved by an individual's parole officer.

To address many of these challenges, The Fortune Society is working with Jonathan Rose Companies to build a green housing complex in West Harlem, providing supportive housing and services for the formerly homeless and other individuals in need of affordable housing. Here are some stats:

  • 11 stories tall

  • 110,000 square feet

  • 114 units of affordable rental housing

  • 20,000 square feet of office, community, and meeting space

  • it's "green," to reduce utility usage and costs by 20% over a standard building

The Fortune Society has offered housing and supportive services for some time to reentrants in "The Castle," which is adjacent to the new building. With this development, The Fortune Society will be able to offer enhanced job training, counseling, and education services. Residents will be able to move in in 2010 and the public spaces will be available for community use at that time as well. And it has a roof garden!

To see video of the groundbreaking, click here.