Clean Power and Affordable Housing Come Together at Los Angeles' Morgan Place
A Double Bottom Line
Abode Communities is focused on community building. As a nonprofit firm, Abode has a double bottom line—a social mission to meet the urgent need for affordable housing and a professional responsibility to ensure the long-term sustainability and financial viability of each property. With Morgan Place, a new affordable housing community for seniors in Los Angeles' Hyde Park neighborhood, Abode wanted to demonstrate that low-income housing developments can be built using sustainable methods and clean power generation.
"A Much Needed Project"
Abode Communities tasked SolarCity with designing a solar system that could significantly reduce the development's carbon footprint without significantly increasing the project's cost. For Morgan Place, SolarCity installed a 49 kW solar system that blends in beautifully with the development's new architecture. The system produces enough electricity to offset 75 percent of usage from the common areas in the 55-unit building.
Morgan Place features an open courtyard, on-site services and handicap-accessible apartments. It has revitalized an abandoned lot, and is providing affordable housing to seniors earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area's median income.
Los Angeles Councilmember Bernard Parks called Morgan Place a "much-needed project" that "will address a considerable need of the residents." Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also praised the project in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"An Indispensable Partner"
While the building was still under construction, SolarCity provided a site survey, assistance in the permitting and rebate process, and custom-designed and installed the solar system.
"SolarCity was an indispensable partner at Morgan Place," said Robin Hughes, CEO of Morgan Place. "They took care of every aspect of the solar design and installation and easily adapted to our design requirements and construction schedule. They even helped us build excitement in the community for the project. SolarCity is an ideal solar partner for affordable housing developments and we look forward to working with them on additional projects."
Over the next 30 years, the Morgan Place solar arrays are expected to offset 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 8,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 500 pounds of particulates. 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.