ITHACA, N.Y. — In a press release earlier today, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF-125) announced that local social services non-profit Tompkins Community Action (TCAction) has been awarded $3.7 million by New York State. The money will be used to pay for the construction of the Amici House early education and supportive housing facility at 661-701 Spencer Road in Ithaca.

The five-story, 20,710 SF (square-foot) project, approved by the city of Ithaca three months ago, calls for 23 studio housing units for homeless or vulnerable young individuals in the 18-25 age range. Along with the units and office/function space for TCAction, the plan also calls for a 7,010 SF early heard start facility, called the “Harriet Gianellis Childcare Center”, that will house five classrooms, kitchen and restrooms, and an outdoor play area. The childcare facility will serve 40 low-to-moderate income families and create 21 jobs.

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The $3.7 million covers about 45% of the $8.25 million cost, and is the largest single component to the construction financing. Other state, county and city funds have been allocated or are in the application process. M&T Bank is also providing a construction loan for Amici House.

Here’s the statement from Assemblywoman Lifton (D/WF-125) regarding the announcement of funding for the Amici House project:

“I’m extremely pleased to learn that Tompkins Community Action has been awarded $3.7 million in state funds to support the Amici House project, which will create 23 enhanced studio apartments for young people between the ages of 18-25 who are experiencing homelessness. At a time when there continues to be a serious shortage of housing in the Ithaca area, the Amici House project will provide permanent Supportive Housing with additional services for residents such as Early Head Start programming, a commercial training kitchen, and community space that will give young people experiencing homelessness a chance to gain housing stability, employment training, and life skills. I want to congratulate Lee Dillon and the leadership at Tompkins Community Action for envisioning this important and much-needed project that will give critical support to so many in our community, and I’m glad to have been able to lend my support. I have been very impressed with the work and the services that Tompkins Community Action has provided in Tompkins County, and I am confident that Amici House will be a beneficial addition to our community.”

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at