New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Tapping Into Low Carbon Pathway Funds

A Manhattan co-op and a Brooklyn condo recently won state grants under the Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings program instituted last summer by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The program, which is accepting applications through the end of 2025, will provide up to 50% of the total costs of eligible measures.

The Manhattan co-op, a 173-unit prewar building near Union Square, and the Brooklyn condo, a recently constructed 43-unit building in Bedford-Stuyvesant, were two of six statewide recipients of the initial grants. Targeted at multifamily buildings, the six grants total $1.9 million of the program’s $7.8 million budget. 

“We got $281,000 from NYSERDA to help pay for repairs to our facade, roof, windows and balcony doors,” says Amit Shah, the board president at the Bedford Place Condo in Brooklyn, which has been plagued by construction defects since it opened in 2003. “Compliance with Local Law 97 is not easy,” he adds. “It’s an arduous process, but the state and the city are trying to help buildings lower their carbon emissions.” 

The Union Square co-op, which was already deeply involved in an overhaul of its heating and cooling system, was awarded a grant of $250,000. The money will enable engineers to recover waste heat from the building’s cooling system and use it to heat domestic hot water.

“NYSERDA is a great partner, and this grant enables us to do some tweaks to the domestic hot water part of the project,” says Ben Milbank, a senior project development engineer at Ecosystem Energy, an engineering and construction company, who is overseeing the co-op’s $7.7 million overhaul. When the entire project is completed this summer, each apartment will have an electric heat pump for heating and cooling, and air-to-water heat pumps on the roof will generate heat. As a backup during blackouts or extreme cold, there will be gas boilers. “This grant helps us create these comprehensive projects, which will ensure the co-op is in compliance with Local Law 97 until at least 2050.

This wasn’t the first time the Manhattan co-op or the Brooklyn condo had tapped into NYSERDA’s various carbon-reduction funds. Both buildings received funding toward an energy study to help plan for improvements through NYSERDA’s Flexible Technical Assistance Program (, as well as money from that program’s Low Carbon Capital Planning component. 

The Low Carbon Pathways grants don’t singlehandedly solve all the problems the boards face as they struggle to comply with the daunting complexities of Local Law 97. But the board members, and their professionals, understand that the grants are valuable pieces of the larger puzzle. “I wish our grant was bigger, with inflation going up,” Shah says. “But I can’t complain. It definitely helps.”

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