to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative

Affordable Gold

Sometimes the journey to becoming a homeowner can be a long one. For Thupten and Labsang that journey was not only measured in years but also in miles, for their story begins in India.

Thupten came to Ithaca in 1997 but it him took five years before he was proficient enough in English to be able to work and live on his own financially. Then he started saving – first, to bring his wife, Labsang, to Ithaca. But also to realize his dream to one become a homeowner some day. At INHS Thupten and Labsang found just what they were looking for.

INHS was offering a brand new home for sale. And it carried the distinction of being certified as LEED Gold, which meant it was very energy efficient. With INHS down payment assistance Thupten and Labsang were able to purchase this home.

"While they have only been living in their new home since June, Thupten admits, “Life is totally different as a homeowner. Whatever I want to do, I can do it. If I want to hang a picture on the wall, have some people come visit, or talk loud, it’s OK. I can do it.” Besides, the mortgage payment is less than what they were paying as renters. Thupten no longer has to work two jobs to make ends meet and life, he admits, feels much easier.

Yes, Virginia, Platinum is Possible

“This house just dropped in my lap. It was a miracle it really was.” Virginia had been renting and was facing a move when she learned INHS was holding an open house to show six new homes for sale. “I told myself I’m going to check it out.” The rest is history, as they say. “I could see all the many things about the house in addition to its affordability – very energy efficient, built with the latest technology, the use of non-toxic materials. It’s a very healthy house. I tell my friends, ‘I live in a [LEED ] Platinum house!”

Virginia was one of the first households to purchase an INHS Community Housing Trust home. Hers is an attached duplex, next to another INHS duplex completed at the same time. All four buyers are single women who from the beginning formed a bond through the shared experience of becoming first-time homebuyers. “We all very different people yet we try to get together for potluck dinners at least once a month and share issues about the houses, about homeownership. To me automatically knowing my neighbors was an added plus."


309 North Aurora Street | Ithaca, NY 14850 | info@tccpi.org