Tompkins County
New York


Commitment of Additional Tompkins County Program Income Funds to the Community Housing Development Fund


Department:County AdministrationSponsors:

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature through Resolution No. 2009-31, authorized funding for the Community Housing Affordability Program and the Community Housing Trust Program, jointly known as the Housing Fund, and accepted and approved the Memorandum of Understanding among the County of Tompkins, the City of Ithaca, and Cornell University that established the Housing Fund for the period of time spanning 2009 to 2015, and


WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature through Resolution No. 2015-154, authorized funding for the Housing Fund under the new name, “Community Housing Development Fund,” and accepted and approved the Memorandum of Understanding among the County of Tompkins, the City of Ithaca, and Cornell University that extended the Community Housing Development Fund for the period of time spanning 2015 to 2021, and


WHEREAS, the CHDF Program helps communities, organizations, and housing developers throughout Tompkins County respond to the diverse affordable housing needs of residents by providing grant funds towards the construction and rehabilitation of housing units that will remain affordable to successive buyers or renters, and


WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan (2015), the Tompkins County Housing Needs Assessment (2016), and Tompkins County Housing Strategy (2017) detail policies, data, and goals related to housing affordability for Tompkins County residents and the importance of ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing in the community, and


WHEREAS, in its first ten years of existence, the CHDF Program has awarded $3.8 million towards the construction and rehabilitation of 491 affordable housing units, of which 385 units have already been built or are currently under construction, and


WHEREAS, in recent years, CHDF award requests have begun to exceed available funding, and the shortage of funds as compared to requests is anticipated to worsen in the remaining years of the current program period, which could potentially delay or prevent a number of affordable housing units from moving forward to construction, and


WHEREAS, each of the current CHDF partners have been asked to consider increasing their contributions for the CHDF’s November 2019 - November 2020 and November 2020 - November 2021 funding years, and


WHEREAS, the CHDF Program is an established program that is successfully advancing Tompkins County’s affordable housing policies and targets, while serving as an effective public-private partnership and community-driven solution to local affordable housing challenges, and


WHEREAS, the County’s past and current contributions to the CHDF Program use funds from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and New York State for homeownership assistance loans, repayment of which began in September 1995 and, under HUD rules, these program income funds must be re-spent for like purposes as the original grants, and


WHEREAS, under the CHDF’s current Memorandum of Understanding (2015), Tompkins County has committed at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) per year for six years and now seeks to increase that amount by an additional one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) per year during the last two years of the current agreement, now therefore be it


RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Housing and Economic Development Committee, That for the final two years of the CHDF Program under the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding, Tompkins County shall provide an additional one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) in funding per year in a cumulative amount not to exceed an additional two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00) over two years, through the Community Housing Development Fund,


RESOLVED, further, That the Finance Director is authorized and directed to make the following budget adjustment:


Fund Balance:              CD 30909000         Unassigned Fund Balance              $200,000

Appropriation:   8695.54400          Program Expense                            $200,000


RESOLVED, further, That the County Administrator or his designee is authorized to execute any required amendment to the Community Housing Development Fund Memorandum of Understanding or other documents required in order to affect this program consistent with this resolution.


Meeting History

Sep 26, 2019 9:30 AM  Housing and Economic Development Committee Regular Meeting
MOVER:Anne Koreman, Member
SECONDER:Deborah Dawson, Vice Chair
AYES:Anna Kelles, Deborah Dawson, Michael Sigler, Anne Koreman, Henry Granison
Oct 18, 2019 9:00 AM  Budget, Capital and Personnel Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. McDonald said this program began in 2009 and is a joint partnership between the County, Cornell University, and the City of Ithaca of which all contribute funds. The program began with a Memorandum of Understanding and that was renewed for an additional six years; the current program will run through 2021. Under that Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca each contribute $100,000 per year; Cornell contributes $200,000 and made an announcement recently that they will be increasing that over the next two years by $100,000 each year. They have also indicated that they will commit to an additional six years. The funds are used to hold grant rounds where anyone can be a non-profit or for-profit developer of any affordable housing unit which is defined as at least 49 years for rent or for sale of any number of units. She said the program has been very successful in leveraging other funds that are needed to build or rehabilitate for affordable housing.

In response to Mr. Lane, Ms. McDonald said the City of Ithaca is considering further funding for the program. Mr. Lane said the Town of Dryden has begun a discussion of potentially funding this as well. Mr. Molino commented that this is a good program and there is a good process with accountability. It is a calculated, prudent, and responsible program that has worked.

Mrs. McBean-Clairborne said she has seen how this program works and likes it; she is glad to hear enforcement will be looked at.

MOVER:Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Vice Chair
SECONDER:Glenn Morey, Member
AYES:Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler, Amanda Champion
Nov 7, 2019 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Mr. John expressed appreciation to the City for stepping up and providing more financial support to this. He said the leveraging of funds with Cornell and the City is very important and impressive.

MOVER:Anna Kelles, Member
SECONDER:Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Member
AYES:Shawna Black, Amanda Champion, Deborah Dawson, Henry Granison, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Daniel Klein, Anne Koreman, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Martha Robertson, Michael Sigler