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Politics

Vacant housing solution passes both houses, heads to Cuomo's desk

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There's a new solution afoot for dealing with vacant housing in New York State - but the governor has to put his stamp of approval on it first.

Governor Cuomo is expected to sign a bill that would allow cities to buy vacant housing and demolish it, and then repurpose the land.  The strategy employs what's called a "land bank," reports Phil Fairbanks at the Buffalo News:

“It’s a proven tool that has worked in other cities,” said Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, a Buffalo Democrat who sponsored the land-bank bill and has been pushing for their creation for three years. Land banks are becoming a popular vehicle because they allow communities to not only acquire and demolish abandoned housing but also manage and reuse the land more effectively. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster. “Vacant housing and vacant lots are among the most pressing problems when it comes to our quality of life.”

Army housing

Government and the private sector are teaming up in the Fort Drum area to create much-needed rental housing to support the Army base, reports Joanna Richards at North Country Public Radio:

Only about 35 percent of Fort Drum soldiers with dependents live on post. But it's not just soldiers who will suffer if there's not enough new rental housing to go around. It's the most vulnerable – those in need of modest, affordable housing. Unlike soldiers, they don't get a housing allowance. So another push to build rental housing is under way, with Jefferson County, the Development Authority of the North Country and the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency pledging a total of $7 million in development incentives. The goal is to get about 500 to 700 new rental housing units built in the next two years.

Quickly

  • Legislation that would make the state legislature "paperless" has cleared both houses, reports Jimmy Vielkind at Capitol Confidential.
  • Syracuse University is offering to pony up $500,000 over the next five years to help Syracuse pay for some of the services that it provides for the school, like plowing (via WSYR).

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