ITHACA, N.Y.—Efforts to make improvements to a manufactured home community on the west side of the village of Trumansburg just got a $5.7 million boost.

The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYS HCR) issued the grant to support Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services’ (INHS) endeavor to rehabilitate and enhance infrastructure and amenities at the Compass Manufactured Housing Community, also known as a mobile home park. The award was announced in a press release Tuesday morning.

Technically, the award was made to Better Housing for Tompkins County, which tends to focus on more rural projects within the INHS umbrella. Once a separate housing services non-profit, the two entities merged in 2014. While most of the Compass MHC’s 138 mobile home sites are primarily in the village of Trumansburg, to be specific, a smaller portion of the property extends north of West Seneca Road and into the southern edge of Seneca County.

In combination with a second $1.5 million grant awarded in 2021 from national housing non-profit Enterprise Community Partners, the funds will be used to improve
interior roadways and drainage systems, install mailboxes and street lighting, replace the existing sanitary sewer system, upgrade the water distribution system, and upgrade existing 100-amp electric hookups to 200-amp connections throughout the community. For recreation, a playground and play court will also be added.

The money will also fund the construction of 13 new home pads on the western edge of the property, bringing the home capacity of the park to a total of 151 units. INHS also plans to replace eight rental mobile homes in need of major repairs, with new energy-efficient units.

The Compass community includes both owner-occupied mobile homes and homes rented out for occupancy, the latter of which is often the result of owners who decided they no longer wanted the mobile home because it was outdated and needed repair.

“The purchase of the organization’s first manufactured home community has provided us with an opportunity to fulfill the INHS mission in a new and innovative way,” said INHS Acting Executive Director Patricia Paolangeli. “We are grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul and to HCR for entrusting us with this project to help our neighbors better their homes and neighborhoods and are hopeful for more opportunities in the future to improve other manufactured communities.”

The Compass Manufactured Home Community, formerly known as Auble’s Mobile Home Park, first opened for occupancy in 1970 and annexed into the village of Trumansburg in the 2000s. It was purchased by INHS in 2021 for $3.1 million, after being “unofficially for sale” for about a decade, with the intention of improving the overall infrastructure of the community and providing health and safety and energy efficiency improvements to existing homes.

An abandoned manufactured home as seen on the site in 2021. This and homes in similar disrepair are being removed and replaced with new units.

About 80% of the 138 home lots were occupied at the time of purchase, but at least 12 homes in the park had been abandoned and left to decay. While some were fixable, others had to be removed due to health and safety concerns.

The purchase also included over 100 acres of additional land that could be redeveloped for future rental housing or other community needs, but for which there are no plans under active consideration at this time. Ithaca-based engineering firm T.G. Miller has been providing their expertise with infrastructure improvements.

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