Local leaders look to improve housing options


Local leaders are looking at ways to improve the quality of housing in our area as a way to spur, or at least not inhibit, economic growth.

The Greater Binghamton Chamber held an Eggs and Issues forum last week at the DoubleTree Hotel in Binghamton titled “Housing, the Foundation of Growth.”

Experts in real estate and development discussed a shortage of new, quality, up-to-date homes in the region that would attract and retain talent for local industry.

Among the challenges that may be discouraging new home construction is the way they are assessed which some see as creating an unfairly high tax burden on the owners.

Chamber President and CEO Jennifer Conway says there have been no new non-senior subdivisions built since the 1980’s. “Since 2014, only 111 new homes have been built in Broome County. And a lot of young professionals and doctors and such want to see new stock. Those are some of the challenges that we have, including the fact that our home values have not appreciated very much at all.”

Conway says stagnant housing values hurt a property’s potential as an investment.

On the other hand, she says our area does benefit from the affordability.

Conway also points out that high tax rates can depress the value of existing homes as buyers must commit a large share of their monthly mortgage payment to cover the property taxes.

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