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Supportive housing project outside Ithaca will not expand after pushback

Volunteers helped construct three additional cottages during an earlier expansion in 2018.
Alyssa Micha
Volunteers help construct three additional cottages during an earlier expansion in 2018.

A supportive housing organization in Tompkins County announced Tuesday it’s no longer planning to expand its development in the Town of Newfield — at least for now. The move comes after some Newfield residents pushed to block the expansion.

Second Wind offers housing for up to 18 formerly homeless men on its property near Ithaca. Each resident has their own small cottage. The program is meant to provide a transition between the shelter and more permanent housing.

The expansion would have allowed construction of 12 additional cottages, per the final proposal (an initial proposal instead suggested a campsite).

The Ithaca Voice reported that the organization will leave more than half a million dollars in previously awarded funds on the table.

Earlier this month, the Tompkins County Legislature narrowly approved a measure to award the funds despite pushback from Newfield residents and Randy Brown, the legislator that represents the town.

Brown also introduced a competing measure to withdraw the funds. He said Newfield was not a good location for the expansion and that the group's proposal lacked sufficient detail and planning.

Brown's proposal failed.

In a social media post, Second Wind said it was dismayed that the program was the subject of stigma against formerly homeless individuals.

The group said it withdrew its application because its mission “places significant value on being good neighbors and friends to people of all walks of life.”