West farms Square
West Farms Square is an affordable housing development which consists of eight buildings and 526 units, originally constructed in the early 1970’s. Although the development had been maintained on an as-needed basis few substantial improvements were made in its first 40 years of existence.
In May 2011, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) teamed up with University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) to begin a much needed overhaul of the complex. By addressing deferred maintenance items and performing significant renovations the aim was to restore these affordable homes, improve energy efficiency, and reduce operational costs.
Bathrooms and kitchens have been renovated. Kitchens were equipped with Energy Star rated appliances and low-flow faucets. Electrical upgrades included sub-metering to track energy consumption on the unit level, new hallway lighting, and infrared occupancy sensors in utility rooms.
The site’s original single boiler was replaced with six high-efficiency boilers, and the steam heat system replaced with hydronic baseboards. Each unit is now equipped with a thermostat to control temperature and prevent wasted energy. The addition of three micro turbine-generators supplement electricity needs and the heat by-product will produce hot water. The roofs on all of the buildings have been coated with highly reflective paint as part of the NYC Cool Roofs program.
The grounds have been transformed from largely chained off, unusable spaces into secure recreational areas for residents. The landscaping includes benches, walkways, planted areas and three playgrounds. All of the playground surfaces are made from recycled materials and are permeable to help prevent pollution. One of the playgrounds is adjacent to a new community room used for children’s and senior programming.
FBHC and UNHP, along with all of their partners, have restored West Farms Square, preserving
526 homes for low- and middle-income families and securing another 40 years of affordability in our community.