ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The ground broke on 625 Hancock Street in Ithaca Friday morning for an affordable housing project. The groundbreaking of the new Northside apartments officially kicks off construction on the $75 million redevelopment project.  

The Ithaca Housing Authority was joined alongside New York's Department of Homes and Community Renewal and 3d Development Group, LLC, in carrying out the redevelopment project. The project kicked off in 2018 when apartment units at the Northside property began deteriorating. After years of research, relocating tenants, and demolishing the old apartments, the ground was broken where the 118 new apartments will be built.  

“We have to take care of our tenants,” Brenda Westfall, Executive Director of the Ithaca Housing Authority, said. “Our tenants are an important asset; our buildings are deteriorating; they deserve to live in something better than what we have to offer.”  

Once complete, the low-income housing project hopes to remove social and financial barriers for tenants. People can gain access to additional programs through Ithaca Housing Authority and pay rent based on their income. Tenants will be required to pay 30% of their monthly adjusted income.  

“So, it doesn't matter what they earn; they will be affordable,” Lenny Skrill, Assistant Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said. “So, if someone makes $6,000 a year, I'm making up a story, 30 percent of 6000 is 1800, divided by 12 is $150. That’s what they will pay.”  

Travis Brooks has lived in Ithaca for over 30 years. He said his experience living on the Northside changed thanks to Brenda's leadership. He explained how the relationship between management and tenants can change a life.  

“The director actually knows who you are, cares about you, asks about you, wants to make sure your kids are good, is trying to figure out ways to find money to send your kids to after-school programs, summer camps," Brooks said. "It's talking to anybody they can about feeding programs, meals programs, trying to get their tenant into housing. That's rare.”  

More information about the programs offered through the Ithaca Housing Authority can be found online.