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Money

New Yorkers say quality of life is declining

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WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)
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New York state of mind: sort of bummed out.

A new poll from Siena Research Institute says that respondents think quality of life in New York has declined over the past decade, reports Matt Daneman at the Democrat and Chronicle:

When asked about overall quality of life in New York over the past 10 years, 41 percent said it had gotten worse and 19 percent said it had improved. And when asked about the next 10 years, 35 percent said they expect it to worsen, while 30 percent said they expect it to improve. The poll also asked about 13 specific categories making up the quality of life. A majority of New Yorkers indicated things were better than 10 years ago in such areas as high-quality public education, care for the poor and needy, cutting the threat of crime, and the availability of broadband/mobile phone/or wireless Internet access. Meanwhile, a minority of New Yorkers saw any positive progress in such areas as the affordability of its taxes, the business climate, and universal access to affordable health care.

Regional economic councils

The lieutenant governor says more details about the governor's proposed regional economic councils should be "coming soon," according to Nick Reisman at Gannett.  Details on those councils have been limited, but Cuomo has pledged to use them to determine economic development priorities regionally, and have regions compete for grant funds to foster business:

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy told the Minority and Women Business Enterprises coalition, in Albany on Tuesday for lobby day, that an announcement on the regional economic development councils will be coming soon — and he pledged their businesses would play an important role. "I promise you, each one of those regions, MWB will have a voice at the table," Duffy told the group. "The decisions that will be made, the funding that will be available, will benefit all New Yorkers. I guess what I would ask is that your ideas, your suggestions, will really help New York state meet the 21st century and beyond."

Real estate

The Buffalo Niagara region is relatively dry - real estate-wise that is.  Jonathan Epstein at the Buffalo News reports that the region has a low rate of "underwater" homes, where homeowners owe more than the home is worth.

Nearly one in four homes were underwater nationwide -- and as many as one-half in Florida and two-thirds in Nevada, according to a national report. But less than 5 percent of Western New York homes had "negative equity" at the end of 2010, said the study by housing data firm CoreLogic Inc. That's lower than every statewide average in the country, lower than Rochester, Pittsburgh and Erie, Pa., and it makes Buffalo stand out.

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