ITHACA, N.Y. — For the next couple months, the city and Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency will be figuring out how to disburse Housing and Urban Development grants that will fund projects benefiting low and moderate income people in the community.
Twenty-eight applications will be considered this year for funding, up from 25 last year. In total, organizations have requested $2 million, though only about $1.2 million is available.
The annual grants are the Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Program and Home Investment Partnerships Program. The requests are designed to help people, or specifically to fund organizations in the community that help people in the low and moderate income category. The highest amount of funding is requested for housing-related projects. Some of those include building repairs, constructing new affordable housing units, constructing ramps for people with disabilities and matching security deposits.
The projects will help youth, adults, people with disabilities and people who are homeless and formerly incarcerated. Organizations have requested funding to help with job training, case management and childcare. There are public facility improvements on the list too, such as building bus shelters and completing missing sidewalks.
Last year’s proposals: Housing, employers, services all bidding for IURA money
The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency, which takes the lead on administering the funds and creating an action plan, has the difficult task of choosing who gets funding and who does not.
“These are all great programs that help people in the community,” Nels Bohn, director of the IURA said. “We wish we had more resources to provide them.”
Requests are broken down into the categories of housing, economic development, public facilities and public services. The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency will hold public hearings March 22 and 29, which will include a presentation by the organization and Q&A session.
Here is a look at the organizations and projects requesting funding. Read the requests in more detail here.
1. Neighbor to Neighbor Home Rehabilitation — Love Knows No Bounds is seeking $50,000 to fund homeowner rehab and repair for five low and moderate income homeowners.
2. Chartwell House — Tompkins Community Action is seeking $213,921 to rehabilitate bathrooms, common kitchen and other living spaces to improve the safety and quality of the Chartwell House, located on North Meadow Street in Ithaca. The building needs renovations, the request says, to provide decent and safe housing to formerly homeless men who are recovering from substance use disorders. There are generally 12 to 18 men a year, the request says.
3. Endeavor House: Tenant-based rental assistance — OAR Housing, LLC, is seeking $7,000 to provide short-term rental assistance to at least 12 very low income formerly incarcerated men to prevent homelessness.
4. 402 S. Cayuga St. — Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services is requesting $150,000 fund the construction of four new for-sale housing units, two of which will be affordable to households earning 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income.
5. Housing Scholarship Program — The Learning Web is seeking $65,592 for tenant-based rental assistance for at least six to eight homeless youths receiving supportive services.
6. Security Deposit Assistance — Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga Counties is seeking $48,250 for security deposits for 77 low-income tenants, including five Housing for School Success participants (related to Project #26).
7. Scattered Site Phase 2: New Construction — Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services is requesting $100,000 to fund redevelopment of 203-209 Elm St. and underutilized downtown property to provide 53 affordable housing units.
8. Ramp Loan Program — Finger Lakes Independence Center is seeking $25,000 to provide custom-built ramps for at least low- to moderate-income people with disabilities and older adults.
9. Mini-Repair Program — Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services is requesting $32,500 to fund small emergency repairs for 40 low-income people with disabilities, seniors, single heads of households and other city homeowners.
10. Hospitality Employment Training Program — The Greater Ithaca Activities Center is requesting $125,000 for a job readiness and training program for 20 low and moderate income people, including job placements for 14 people.
11. Ithaca ReUse Center Expansion — Finger Lakes ReUse is requesting $100,000 to fund the expansion of the Ithaca ReUse Center, which will create at least three new full-time equivalent positions.
12. Volunteer Worker & Job Skills Training — Finger Lakes ReUse is requesting $114,000 to fund job training for at least 32 low and moderate income people and 88 volunteer workers, resulting in job placement of 28 individuals.
13. Re-Entry Hub: Ground Works — OAR of Tompkins County is seeking $81,800 for micro-enterprise assistance to train/employ and provide business-ownership opportunities for at least five formerly incarcerated individuals.
14. Work Preserve Job Training: Job Placements — Historic Ithaca is seeking $67,500 for job training that will result in job placement for at least six people who are low and moderate income.
15. Food Entrepreneurship Program 2.0 — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County is seeking $40,548 for micro-enterprise assistance resulting in the establishment of seven to 10 new food micro-enterprise businesses owned by people who are low and moderate income.
16. Targeted Urban Bus Stop Upgrades — TCAT is seeking $27,000 to improve the bus shelters at Chestnut at Elm St. (LACS) and State St./MLK Jr. St. at Meadow Street.
17. Final Phase Compliance for Heating & Roofing — Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center is requesting $29,300 to complete the final phase of a heating and roofing renovation project at the childcare facility at 506 First St., Ithaca serving low and moderate income children.
18. Domestic Violence Shelter Renovation — The Advocacy Center is seeking $9,960 to fund building renovations to improve accessibility, safety, energy and quality of life at the domestic violence shelter.
19. S. Aurora St. Sidewalk Corridor Completion — The City of Ithaca is requesting $350,000 to complete 2,100 linear feet of missing sidewalks along South Aurora Street, from Hillview Place to the City of Ithaca line.
20. Immigrant Services Program — Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga Counties is requesting $30,000 to provide case management for 100 immigrants to access employment, services, legal aid, etc.
21. Supportive Transitional Housing Initiatives — Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga Counties is seeking $20,000 to provide case management for transitional housing initiatives to stabilize at least 32 homeless and imminently homeless residents.
22. Work Preserve Job Training: Job Readiness — Historic Ithaca is requesting $20,000 to provide job readiness training for 20 low and moderate income youth and adults.
23. 2-1-1 Information & Referral Service — The Human Services Coalition is seeking $20,000 to support 2-1-1 call center referrals for 2,400 low and moderate income people.
24. Pathway of Hope — The Salvation Army is requesting $40,000 to provide long-term case management for at least 15 low and moderate income individuals to reduce dependency on emergency services and provide a pathway to self sufficiency.
25. Leadership Employment & Development Skills — Displace Homemaker Center (Women’s Opportunity Center) is requesting $30,000 to provide childcare for at least 48 people who are low and moderate income to allow them to enroll in LEADS job training and placement.
26. Housing for School Success: Year #3 — The Ithaca City School District is requesting $27,005 for supportive case management services for 13 to 15 homeless families at BJM Elementary School receiving housing assistance from Ithaca Housing Authority.
27. Youth Organizing Fellowship — The Multicultural Resource Center is requesting $20,560 to provide at least 200 low-income and underserved youth with leadership and community organizing skills.
28. Housing Case Manager — OAR Housing, LLC, is asking for $42,000 to fund a case manager to provide supportive housing and employment services for at least 24 formerly incarcerated individuals.
Featured image: Endeavor House at 626 W. Buffalo St., Ithaca. Jolene Almendarez/Ithaca Voice