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Community Meeting Planned for Affordable Apts. Project in Cayuga

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A community meeting next month will give Cayuga residents an update on the project to transform the village’s former elementary school into affordable housing.

Ithaca Neighborhood Services (INHS) and the Gavras Center are inviting the public to learn more about the plan to create 31 housing units within the 40,000 sq ft building plus an additional 16 in three new townhouses, collectively dubbed Wheat Street Apartments.

Under the plan, eight units will be reserved for households with incomes below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI), 35 units for those between 41 and 50%, of the AMI, and four units for those with up to 70% of the AMI. The project team adds it’s committed to housing nine individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities at the apartment complex.

The former school was sold to the Gavras Center in 2020. The project will be owned by Wheat Street LLC with INHS as the managing member. INHS affiliate Better Housing for Tompkins County will act as property manager. As a partner, the Gavras Center will support those individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities living at the apartments.

The project was originally slated to begin in the spring of 2023; however, unexpected delays such as increased business costs and rising interest rates postponed this. Wheat Street Apartments are now expected to open in March 2025 with applications available in November 2024.

The group says applicants will be entered in a lottery to create an ordered list for applicants to go through the review process.

Since its establishment in 1976, INHS has either been the sole developer or collaborator in the completion of 1,245 units of rental housing projects

Funding for the roughly $20 million project comes from a variety of sources including the NYS Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The meeting will run from 6:00-8:00p on April 16 at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES (1879 W Genesee St, Auburn).

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