Urban Renewal

Urban Renewal Agency History

The Elmira Urban Renewal Agency is a public benefit corporation which was formed in 1966. The Agency is governed by a Board of Commissioners comprised of the Elmira Mayor and City Council members. The City Manager serves in an ex-officio capacity and the Community Development Director serves as the Secretary. The agency was developed as a community planning organization and project initiator. The first project undertaken by the Agency was the Dewittsburg Housing project on East Water Street. Shortly after its completion, the City was devastated by Tropical Storm Agnes in the flood of 1972. In order to aid in the recovery from the flood, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided substantial funding to help the City recover. The Elmira Urban Renewal Agency, through consultants, developed the New Elmira Plan which was eventually adopted by the City Council and Agency Commissioners. The City contracted with the Elmira Urban Renewal Agency to implement the New Elmira Plan (Urban Renewal Plan) and administer the $41+ million dollars provided by the State and Federal governments to rebuild Elmira. As the Urban Renewal Plan was winding down, staff was drastically reduced and the Federal Government created and funded the Community Development Block Grant Program. The City contracted with the Elmira Urban Renewal Agency in 1981 to administer the Community Development Block Grant Program and continues that function to date.