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State Announces Completion of $8.1M Housing Project for Young Adults in Ithaca

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(Photo/Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance)

State officials on Friday (October 19) announced the completion of Tompkins Community Action’s Amici House, an $8 million project that provides 23 permanent supportive housing units for young adults in Ithaca, including those with children.

Specifically, the apartments are meant for young adults in Ithaca between 18-25 years old, who are single, pregnant or have a young child.

In addition to housing, tenants can receive supportive services from Tompkins Community Action, including case management, child care, child and family development and parenting classes.

Tenants will also have the opportunity to receive additional services through other off-site providers, such as substance abuse and mental health counseling, employment/education assistance and legal aid are available.

“Young adults experiencing homelessness can be particularly vulnerable, and Amici House will provide not only a safe and stable place to stay but also the support services needed to help them get back on their feet,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project demonstrates New York’s strong commitment to ending homelessness in our state.”

The 7,020-square-foot Harriet Giannelis Child Care Center includes five classrooms, serving pregnant mothers and children from infancy through preschool, a kitchen, public restrooms, staff offices and storage space, along with a fenced outdoor play area.

The center is named for Tompkins Community Action’s late Chief Financial Officer Harriet Giannelis.

The new apartments are located in the same building as Tompkins Community Action’s offices, right next door to the agency’s new Harriet Giannelis Child Care Center – a Head Start/Early Head Start facility that serves income-eligible families.

Financing for the project includes $3.7 million from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. New York State Homes and Community Renewal also provided $1.8 million from the Housing Trust Fund and $1.3 million from the Community Investment Fund.

Additional funding included a $603,000 loan from M&T Bank, $350,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank, $300,000 from Tompkins County Community Housing Development Fund, a Community Development Block Grant of $84,200, and $23,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein:

“Amici House was designed to address the unique needs of young people who are experiencing homelessness, especially those with young children of their own. With supportive services and a child care center at the same location, Tompkins Community Action is ensuring these individuals will have an opportunity to turn their lives around and get on a path to self-sufficiency.”

NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas:

“The opportunity for a brighter future begins with a home. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, we are doing more than ever to fight homelessness across the state by providing New Yorkers in need with a safe, affordable home and access to supportive services. Amici House is doing just that for 23 young adults so that they can achieve independence and success for themselves and their families.”

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick:

With the state’s help, the city of Ithaca is creating real solutions to homelessness and the high cost of housing. Tompkins Community Action is an expert in providing the kind of direct services that interrupt poverty and their expertise in leading this project has made it a model for the state. Childcare, substance abuse counseling, mental health treatment, and employment assistance – all hand-in-hand with housing. We thank the state for its support and look forward to welcoming more people in from the cold.”

Tompkins Community Action, Inc., Executive Director Lee Dillon:

“Residents are already taking advantage of on-site opportunities that are inaccessible without safe, affordable, supportive housing. Nutritional education classes with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Skill Up online classes supported by Tompkins Workforce NY, and GED classes through TST BOCES have begun, along with parenting classes provided by Tompkins Community Action Early Head Start/Head Start and The Learning Web. There is a feeling of hope and accomplishment growing among the residents that is clearly due to our community partners and our amazing staff.”

Congressman Tom Reed:

“We care about ensuring our friends and neighbors have fair access to quality housing. This grant is a great example of what can happen when officials from both New York state and Washington, D.C. work together to build good quality housing and boost local jobs.”

Senator Tom O’Mara:

“We are grateful for this significant state investment to assist the work of Tompkins Community Action and complete Amici House, which will expand the availability of safe, supportive housing for young adults and their families in Ithaca. For more than four decades, TCA has made an enormous difference in countless lives and we’re hopeful that this latest state assistance will help foster and strengthen these important initiatives.”

Assembly Member Barbara Lifton:

“I am very proud to have lent my support to this amazing project. At a time when there continues to be a serious shortage of housing in the Ithaca area, Amici House will provide critical housing and services for young people in our community who are experiencing homelessness. 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. I want to congratulate Executive Director Lee Dillon and everyone else at Tompkins Community Action for envisioning this important and much-needed project that will help so many in our community. I’d also like to thank the Governor for his continued attention to supportive housing projects throughout the state and in our region.”

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