CULVER CITY, Calif. – SolarCity and Abode Communities in collaboration with Los Angeles City Council took part in a new affordable housing community project for seniors at Morgan Place in South Los Angeles. The 55-unit building was designed for sustainability and community development, combining best practices in green building with an open courtyard, on-site services and ADA-accessible apartments. The building revitalized an abandoned lot in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles, and provides affordable housing to seniors earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income.
Over the next 25 years, the Morgan Place solar array is estimated to offset 2.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 7,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 443 pounds of particulates. SolarCity expects the 49.2 kilowatt (DC) system to produce enough electricity to power 75 percent of the common areas in the building. Other green elements of the facility include Energy Star-rated heating and cooling systems, Energy Star-qualified appliances in all apartments, high-performance windows, 100 percent compact fluorescent lighting, optic skylights and recycled-content carpets. While the building was under construction, SolarCity provided a site survey, custom consultation and assistance in the permitting and rebate process, and designed and installed the solar system.
Abode Communities is an non-profit organisation whose mission is to lead the industry nationwide in providing well-designed and developed affordable housing; it specialies in architecture, development, housing services and resident services for low-income individuals and families. According to their self-understanding, they collaborate with community members from design and development to management and advocacy, with the aim to instill a sense of ownership, pride and empowerment that ensures long-term neighborhood revitalisation.
The Morgan Place development seems to be a great example for combining elements of social justice and environmental principles to achieve long-term sustainability for communities.