ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Tompkins County is receiving $900,000 in funding to help support affordable housing options for residents. On Thursday, Attorney General Tish James announced the second round of the "Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative." It's a program which acquires and renovates distressed properties, and provides training and assistance to homeowners, who hadn't before found a permanent solution to their housing needs. 

"By providing the Tompkins County this grant we are opening the doors to solutions for a problem that affects many families and individuals - the lack of safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities. Our mission is to help communities develop solutions for housing needs and revitalize neighborhoods," James says. 

The non-profit, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS), will use the funding to create two developments with 18 affordable homes. It will also establish a working capital revolving funds to secure land. 

"These are not simply homes. These are people who've found a sense of peace, having a home that is safe and secure allows people a foundation to build upon. It allows people to fight for their beliefs, to advocate for another and above all grow love," says Johanna Anderson, Executive Director of INHS. 

Leslie Benjamin is one Community Land Trust resident who spoke during the funding announcement about what owning a home now means to her. 

"Owning a home means that I, lord willing, will have a special gift to leave my children some day. I had been renting a place for almost 40 years. With renting, I would never had anything to leave my children for all those months and years of payments," Benjamin says. 

In terms of accessing the new resources, officials say right now the best route is to contact INHS. https://www.ithacanhs.org/