Cathedral Square Corporation Completes Burlington’s Largest Solar Energy System

Organization also receives prestigious national award for affordable housing excellence

On Thursday October 21 at 2:00 p.m., Cathedral Square Corporation (CSC) and special guest Senator Patrick Leahy will celebrate the completion of the rooftop solar photovoltaic energy system at Cathedral Square Senior Living (CSSL), the largest solar energy system built to date in the city of Burlington. At the celebration, the organization also will receive a 2010 MetLife Foundation Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing from MetLife Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise). MetLife Financial Services Representatives Barbara Gross and Carolyn Dunlavy will be on hand to present the award to representatives of CSC.

“This solar array is an impressive sign of Vermont’s commitment to renewable energy and new technology,” said Senator Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its subcommittee that handles the annual housing budget bill. “Cathedral Square demonstrates the type of leadership and forward thinking that is crucial for the future and for the economic vitality that we want for our state and our children.”

MetLife Foundation and Enterprise selected Cathedral Square from a field of dozens of organizations in a nationwide competition designed to recognize innovation and excellence in the development of green, affordable housing for low-income seniors. CSC is one of four national winners, chosen for its strength in management practices, its resident service programs, and its organization-wide commitment to sustainable building practices. The organization will receive an unrestricted grant of $50,000 from MetLife Foundation. “The new solar energy system is just one example of the direction we are heading in energy conservation and green building,” said Nancy Eldridge, Executive Director of Cathedral Square Corporation. “We are proud to be recognized by Enterprise and MetLife Foundation for our commitment to residents and to healthy buildings.”

Cathedral Square received a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Green Retrofit Grant to help carry out an ambitious program of energy improvements and modernization using sustainable materials at CSSL. “Cathedral Square has provided a wonderful housing opportunity for seniors for more than 30 years, thanks to the vision of our sponsor, the Cathedral Church of St. Paul,” said Eldridge. “We are grateful to the Cathedral, HUD, and to all of our partners for the help we have received to keep this community attractive, and to allow us to offer a full range of services to residents of modest income.”

The People’s United Bank is a partner in the building, providing substantial equity to the re-development through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program and low-cost financing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. The City of Burlington and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board have supported this important housing resource throughout its history, allocating state and local funding to help create the licensed Assisted Living Residence at the site, and encouraging the use of new technology and energy conservation in the current renovation. “We intend to offer great housing at an affordable rate for the life of this building,” said Eldridge. “But you need to invest in the future in order to do so.”

Matt Murphy of Peck Electric, who led the team that installed the CSSL solar array, is an instructor at Vermont’s only year-round training center for photovoltaic installation. Since late 2008, he has trained nearly 100 Vermont electricians in solar technology. “A big job like this showcases the skills that Vermont workers have to offer,” said Murphy. “When we walk through the building and talk to residents we feel really good about what we are doing.”

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Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than 25 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $10.6 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve more than 270,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit www.enterprisecommunity.org and www.enterprisecommunity.com to learn more about Enterprise\’s efforts to build communities and opportunity.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support education, health, civic and cultural programs. For more information, visit www.metlife.org.

Cathedral Square is proud to be an American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) Quality First participant and an equal opportunity employer and housing provider. For more information, visit us at www.cathedralsquare.org.