To rehabilitate Ithaca’s public housing stock and add more units in a sustainable manner in accordance with Ithaca’s Green New Deal, construction has begun on a $75 million rehabilitation project in Ithaca’s Northside neighborhood. Friday.
The construction project will preserve two obsolete Ithaca Housing Authority properties with a total of 36 apartments and replace another obsolete IHA property with 82 new affordable apartments.
Two of the buildings, Overlook Terrace and Southview Garden, will be extensively renovated. Overlook Terrace has five residential buildings with 10 apartments. Southview Gardens has four residential buildings with 36 apartments, a community building and a building for laundry and mechanical equipment.
Northside Apartments will be replaced by an affordable new development which will have 17 apartment buildings with a total of 82 apartments – 12 more than the original due to a reconfiguration which will add much-needed one-bedroom apartments.
The new development will include a one-story community building with a kitchen, office spaces and laundry room.
“This project has been in the works for a long time,” said Brenda Westfall, executive director of Ithaca Housing Authority and CEO of Cayuga Housing Development Corporation. “As we have watched our most prized possessions deteriorate beyond repair, the difficult decision has been made to rehabilitate the apartments…and demolish and rebuild Northside Apartments.”
What’s in store for the new Northside accommodations?
In total, there will be 20 one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units, 40 three-bedroom units, 22 four-bedroom units and two five-bedroom units. All apartments will be for households with an income equal to or less than 80% of the region’s median income.
“People don’t understand the pride we had in Northside Apartments — the pride our kids had in Northside Apartments,” said Travis Brooks, a Tompkins County legislator who is a former tenant of Northside Apartments. “Brenda and the team have made it a point that tenants have decent housing. You see the other housing units in the area – others can’t say that.”
Brooks said her children have reviewed the plans for the new apartments.
“‘It doesn’t feel like where I grew up,'” Brooks said. “But it will be better for people.”
Rehabilitation work will include individual apartment renovations such as replacing and upgrading doors, flooring, bathrooms, kitchens and appliances.
Major capital improvements will include mechanical and electrical upgrades, replacement of water heaters and furnaces with an all-electric option, upgrades to laundry facilities, and replacement of entry doors, vinyl siding and aluminum, soffits and trim, windows and roofs.
The buildings contain materials containing asbestos which will be cleaned up and/or encapsulated for a healthier living environment. Site work will include replacing existing concrete sidewalks, fencing and landscaping.
When will the Northside project be finished?
The project experienced some delays.
“Throughout this process, we have always held tenants in high regard,” Westfall said. “We protected and assisted tenants throughout the relocation process and assisted them with paperwork, transportation and relocation assistance…All tenants were taken care of.”
Stakeholders have also ensured that children can stay in the school of their choice and receive transport to their school.
The redevelopment project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.
“I get asked if there are still people who need affordable housing,” said Laura Lewis, acting mayor of the city of Ithaca. “I say yes. There are still people we need to include in our city.”
Assemblywoman Anna Kelles said the increased density was an act of justice: “economic justice, racial justice and supporting the integrity of our community.”
All 118 apartments will be covered by new project-based Section 8 housing assistance payment contracts issued in accordance with HUD guidelines for public housing authorities.
The developer is a joint venture between 3d Development Group and Cayuga Housing Development Corporation, the nonprofit subsidiary of the Ithaca Housing Authority.
“It’s going to transform this neighborhood,” said Bruce Lavine, president of 3d Development Group.
How The Ithaca Redevelopment Project Was Funded
State funding for the Ithaca Housing Authority’s $75 million redevelopment includes $10.6 million in permanent tax-exempt bonds, federal low-income housing tax credits that will generate 29 $.7 million in equity and $18.8 million in grant funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The redevelopment received $1.4 million from the state’s new Clean Energy Initiative for its plans to make all homes energy efficient and use electricity as the sole energy source.
The Clean Energy Initiative was developed by New York State Homes and Community Renewal and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to create more than 1,500 affordable energy-efficient, all-electric or plug-and-play, climate-friendly homes in apartment buildings. existing multifamily. across the state.
After a construction project in Rome, the redevelopment project is the second state project to receive funding from the Clean Energy Initiative.
The projects align with Governor Kathy Hochul’s plans to make housing more affordable, equitable and stable. In the 2022-23 state budget, Hochul introduced and secured a comprehensive new five-year, $25 billion housing plan that will increase housing supply by creating or preserving 100,000 affordable housing units in New York City, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, the same also provides for the electrification of 50,000 additional households.
Other sources of funding for the project in Ithaca include $9.3 million from the Ithaca Housing Authority, $300,000 from the Tompkins County Community Housing Fund, and nearly $91,000 from Ithaca Urban Renewal.