The INHS Story
Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS) got its start by trying a new way to reverse the decline of downtown Ithaca: fixing homes up rather than tearing them down.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Ithaca faced many of the problems challenging urban areas across the nation: a depressed economy, deteriorating housing, and the flight of homeowners to the suburbs. Most of the homes in Ithaca’s downtown neighborhoods were more than 100 years old, but owners could not get bank loans to buy new ones and didn’t have the skills or financial resources to make repairs.
In 1977, inspired by an urban renewal program created in Pittsburgh by Dorothy Mae Richardson, which relied on a partnership between residents, businesses, and local government to revitalize blighted areas, Ithaca joined the growing network of successful Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS). Recognized by Congress in 1978 and known today as NeighborWorks® America, the national network of NHSs continues to recognize and nurture local solutions to local community development.
Ithaca’s NHS evolved rapidly. Starting with helping homeowners maintain or improve their homes with low-cost loans and other types of home-repair assistance, INHS soon began acquiring and redeveloping dilapidated rental properties, constructing new homes and rentals, and helping community members buy their first homes.
INHS didn’t slow down there. In 2014, it expanded its service area into seven counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins Counties. The following year, INHS affiliated with Better Housing of Tompkins County (BHTC), another affordable housing nonprofit.
Today, INHS is a countrywide leader in the affordable housing field, with certifications beyond those required and a variety of local and national awards. For example, NeighborWorks® America has honored INHS multiple times by highlighting its programs as “best practices” in the affordable housing field.
As a significant developer of green homes and apartments in central New York, INHS is looking to the future. Because they are energy efficient and low maintenance, as well as convenient to local services, jobs and transportation, INHS properties are designed to remain affordable in the long term.
By coming up with creative solutions to complex problems and investing in high quality housing through its strong organization, INHS continues to create lasting, measurable results.