Formed in 1997, Urban American Management is a family-owned property management company that purchases buildings to rehabilitate and apply energy saving measures as avenues of providing affordable housing to residents. The company believes that both residents and property owners have long-term investment stakes in the welfare of the property and surrounding neighborhood.
Urban American Management has purchased five buildings in Harlem, through which the company seeks to reduce the carbon footprint and provide a more energy-efficient homes for the renters. The energy use of the buildings had been excessive due to broken windows and heating leaks. Planned upgrades include replacement of 6,000 windows and installation of a mini power plant called a cogeneration system. The estimated cost of the renovations is $11 million, but the estimated savings in energy costs could be as much as $4 million annually. This will benefit both the residents and the management company.
Costing approximately $5 million, the cogeneration system will combine the heat and power functions that are currently being served by a boiler, a power grid, and a natural gas line. Cogeneration harnesses waste heat and uses it for the water heater and to power the cooling system. Cogeneration reduces the carbon emissions of buildings by as much as 50 percent.