Mayor Myrick and RelightNY founder announce energy initiative for Ithaca Housing Authority

October 7, 2014 by Brianna Pennella

This weekend, Mayor Svante Myrick joined Avery Hairston, a recent Cornell graduate, at Titus Towers 1 to announce a major initiative to bring energy-efficient lighting to residents of the City of Ithaca. Hairston is the founder of RelightNY, the organization responsible for this year's $4,642.00 donation to the Ithaca Housing Authority that will enable the IHA to purchase a large supply of energy-efficient light bulbs. Myrick and Hairston hope the Titus Towers senior apartment complex will be the first of many similar housing areas positively changed by the initiative.

Avery Hairston, right, joined Mayor Svante Myrick, third from right, at Titus Towers on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Mayor Myrick.Avery Hairston, right, joined Mayor Svante Myrick, third from right, at Titus Towers on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Mayor Myrick.Hairston told us how the non-profit was able to raise such a generous donation. "My team and I wrote grant letters to companies with initiatives dedicated to donating money to charities with specific agendas like fighting climate change," he stated.

RelightNY, whose fund for the initiative will be closed by year-end, aimed to raise awareness of environment problems and lower the cost of electric bills for low-income families. The compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs purchased with RelightNY’s donation will do exactly that.

Brenda C. Westfall, Executive Director of the Ithaca Housing Authority, was quoted in the press release for the event as saying that the bulbs will be "provided to our residents to continue our effort to reduce utility expenses."

The City of Ithaca has a history of promoting the use of energy-saving measures within lower-income residences. As far back as 2007, The Ithaca Housing Authority began installing CFL fixtures in homes. In 2009, they received the Energy Star Award for Excellence in Energy-Efficient Affordable Housing from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Together with the support of the community and donations from non-profits, like Relight NY, the City of Ithaca plans to expand the project and reach more residences. Avery Hairston founded RelightNY while in high school. His commitment to Ithaca, the city that was a home to him for over four years, has seen a great benefit from the organization’s work.



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