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NEW YORK CITY-The latest package of federal funding through the Obama administration’s stimulus plan is $423 million that will be used to repair and retrofit public housing throughout the five boroughs, city, state and federal officials announced on Sunday. These 70 shovel-ready projects, which the Bloomberg administration says will create or preserve 3,255 jobs, are in addition to more than $500 million in infrastructure improvements announced in March that will be funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

In a statement, Shaun Donovan, US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, says the $423 million in funds will allow the New York City Housing Authority to “start creating jobs, conserving energy and ensuring safety for NYCHA residents.” Of the $423 million in federal funds, the NYCHA will use nearly half, or $209 million, to make public housing more energy efficient.

For example, NYCHA plans to purchase and install approximately 56,000 Energy-Star rated refrigerators in 53 developments throughout the five boroughs, at a cost of $22 million and a savings of $1.4 million per year in energy costs. Other green renovations planned by the NYCHA will focus on roof and brick replacement and upgrades to heating, plumbing and electrical systems.

About $70 million in ARRA funds have been specifically earmarked for elevator replacements and upgrades, a total of 242 citywide. The single largest project covered by the stimulus funds will be the $87-million renovation and reconfiguration of 1,610 apartments in 19 of the 20 buildings at Brooklyn’s Whitman-Ingersoll Houses, a housing complex built in 1944.

In a release, the Bloomberg administration says ARRA funding will allow NYCHA to accelerate projects that were part of the agency’s five-year plan, and initiate projects that were deferred due to lack of funding. Of the projects being funded through the stimulus program, $234.7 million worth had no funding prior to the receipt of stimulus monies. An additional $146.3 million of shovel-ready projects were included in NYCHA’s current five-year plan, of which $40 million was slated to be funded in 2009. In May, NYCHA will begin developing its five-year plan, and the coming month could also see the start of projects funded through ARRA.

The receipt in March of $261 million in ARRA monies for infrastructure projects meant that another $261 million of city funds will be allocated to projects that would otherwise be postponed or cut due to the lack of available funding. Among the transportation-related work that will be paid for through federal or city funds will be the $175-million rehabilitation of the St. George Ferry Terminal ramps, a $47-million rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge and $37 million worth of improvements to Queens Plaza in Long Island City. In all, 31 projects will be advanced through the infrastructure funds, according to the NYCStat StimulusTracker website.

Public housing may not be the only aspect of the cityscape that becomes greener through the federal stimulus program. As part of the package of green legislation the Bloomberg administration introduced last week, a $16-million revolving loan fund using ARRA money would be extended to building owners who demonstrate financial need or who have completed an energy audit.

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