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County Expands Contribution to Community Housing Development Fund; Establishes New Contingent Fund to Endorse Additional Projects

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County Expands Contribution to Community Housing Development Fund; Establishes New Contingent Fund to Endorse Additional Projects

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Legislature, by unanimous vote, approved two measures to increase Tompkins County’s support to the successful Community Housing Development Fund, a decade-old community collaboration addressing the community’s affordable housing crisis.  To date, the partnership, involving the County, the City of Ithaca, and Cornell University has awarded $4.7 million to projects creating 654 units of affordable housing and leveraging approximately $177 million in additional program development funds. 

Tonight’s actions augment the County’s current $100,000 annual commitment with an additional $100,000 for each of the next two years, using the County’s HUD Program Income Funds (the source through which the County has provided its share of CHDF support.)  The Legislature also allocated $300,000 in Program Income Funds to create a new Contingent Fund for the CHDF to permit the Fund to endorse more viable local proposals for potential “9%” Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, enabling more proposals to obtain extra points in New York State review to qualify in this highly competitive funding process.  The tax credits are the largest source of leveraging for the Community Housing Development Fund, Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability Megan McDonald said.

Cornell University recently also committed an added $100,000 to the Fund for each of the next two years, and the City has committed $100,000 for 2020, as part of its just-approved 2020 budget.