The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 as an urban renewal agency. The Agency has a corporate identity separate fro the City and is independently funded, but works in close conjunction with the City to revitalize urban neighborhoods and strengthen the local economy. The Agency is composed of the Mayor and four members appointed by the Mayor with the concurring approval of the Common Council. The Director of Planning and Development for the City of Ithaca serves as the Executive Director of the Agency.
Through a variety of means, including site acquisition and disposition, the Agency works to implement the Urban Renewal Plan that seeks to stabilize neighborhoods and enhance the vitality of the downtown and community. Through the City, the Agency applies and receives various grants to address community development needs. On an annual basis, the Agency manages the City's HUD Entitlement Grant award of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds to undertake activities in the areas of housing, community facilities, public services, and economic development that benefit Ithaca's low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and households, or eliminate blighting conditions. In addition, the Agency administers various economic development loan programs, the Cherry Street Industrial Park, and leases to facilitate private/public real estate projects.