The following is a republished press release from the Tompkins County Planning Department  and NOT written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements directly to The Voice, email tips@ithacavoice.com.

Have you been wondering what is happening to address our community’s housing challenges? Do you want to weigh in on next steps for addressing local housing needs? Please join the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability Wednesday, May 17, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM in the Borg Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library, to provide input on the draft Tompkins County Housing Strategy.

Tompkins County is committed to the principle that the county should be a place where housing is affordable, safe, energy efficient, and appealing. The May 17th meeting will feature presentation of the draft Strategy, including information regarding proposed housing targets and approaches to help the community achieve them. Most of the time will be devoted to gathering public reaction to the Strategy, and on how actions within the Strategy should be prioritized. Written comments will also be accepted through May 31, with the goal of submitting the Housing Strategy for the Tompkins County Legislature’s consideration in June 2017.

In 2016 the County completed the Tompkins County Housing Needs Assessment and helped to plan and host the Tompkins County Housing Summit. The Needs Assessment and its online housing survey results, together with public input received during the Housing Summit events, have informed development of the draft Housing Strategy, which includes targets for new housing, approaches to overcome barriers to meeting housing needs, and recommendations for data collection and monitoring that will be needed to track progress.

Perhaps you participated in the Housing Summit and/or the online housing survey as part of the County’s Housing Needs Assessment, and are curious about next steps. Reports in local media and conversations with neighbors may have you thinking about housing. You or someone you know may be struggling to find suitable housing. All are encouraged to provide input and help shape our community’s response to our housing challenges.

Questions and comments may be directed to the Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability, 121 East Court Street, Ithaca, 274-5560, planning@tompkins-co.org