The Community Housing Trust (CHT) is moving into a new era in 2020. Celebrating a decade of work, the homeownership program has grown to include 56 single family and townhouse units, and now it has its first program-specific staff. In September, Leslie Ackerman joined INHS in the new position of Community Housing Trust Manager. Leslie will be applying her business development background to strategic planning and growth for the CHT. The program has a variety of projects and potential projects in the pipeline for 2020 and beyond, and Leslie is focused on planning for financial sustainability as the program expands.
In 2019, INHS was awarded a grant of $900,000 from Enterprise Community Partners, which provided a financial launch pad for the new position and expanded CHT development. Also in 2019, CHT’s first home in Dryden was completed and sold to a first-time homebuyer, and four additional townhouse units are under development at South Cayuga Street and South Titus Avenue that should break ground early in 2020. In the planning stages are properties on Plain Street and newly acquired land on Lake Street near Ithaca Falls, as well as prospective sites in Ellis Hollow and Varna.
The program helps people with modest incomes buy their first homes through reducing the barriers to home ownership by keeping the purchase price lower, thereby reducing the cash needed for a down payment and closing costs. The CHT uses subsidies from state or federal programs to significantly reduce the purchase price and operating costs of CHT homes, making them extremely affordable. By using the Trust, INHS is able to keep the homes affordable not just for the first buyer but for all future buyers as well.