The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development will host a public open house on Tuesday, January 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Syracuse Peacemaking Center
Community input will help shape strategies to address housing challenges and opportunities in Syracuse
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the launch of the Syracuse Housing and Neighborhood Strategy Project, the next step in the City’s effort to identify and develop responsive housing strategies for Syracuse. Based on a comprehensive study of housing conditions in the city, the project will create detailed action steps to begin rebalancing the city’s housing market.
The Syracuse Department of Neighborhood & Business Development will host a series of public open houses to collect community input about the project. The first event will take place on Tuesday, January 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Syracuse Peacemaking Center at 601 Tully Street. An additional open house will be held in April.
The Open Houses are an opportunity to learn about the draft analysis and strategy work of the project. Attendees can get updates on existing housing conditions and market challenges and ask questions or talk about issues that are important to them. Feedback and advice gathered from the open houses will help shape how the City will address housing challenges and opportunities in Syracuse.
The creation of a citywide housing strategy for Syracuse began with the Syracuse Housing Study, which was completed in May 2023. The City partnered with czb, an award-winning planning and consulting firm, to complete the work which included a citywide visual inspection of housing in all city neighborhoods.
The study findings revealed that nearly every housing challenge that exists in Syracuse is tied to having either a market or affordability gap, meaning there is a large gap between the cost to create and maintain housing and the level of willingness (market gap) or ability (affordability gap) to pay for housing in Syracuse.
The high cost of rehabilitation in conjunction with persistently depressed property values combine to create an unstable housing environment, especially for low-income households. These two interconnected conditions will be the focus areas for how the City develops an overarching strategy to reduce both the market and affordability gaps and improve our neighborhoods.
“The Syracuse Housing and Neighborhood Strategy Project is a crucial next step in developing the strategies needed to address Syracuse’s housing challenges,” said Mayor Ben Walsh. “As the study showed, our housing market faces significant challenges that will require an ambitious, collaborative, and non-traditional approach to stabilizing our neighborhoods, with both public and private investments dedicated. I look forward to working with the Council, community partners, city staff, and the public to develop and implement a strategy that not only improves the city’s housing stock, but also reinvigorates positive change in our neighborhoods and business districts.”
The study also shows that more than 1/3 of Syracuse’s residential structures have signs of distress and deferred maintenance. It projects upwards of $300M to $1.5B needed to cure these conditions. The costs are substantially more than what is currently available across the City’s combined federal, state, and local streams.
Last month, the Common Council authorized the establishment of the Syracuse Housing Trust Fund, providing the City with a new mechanism to help close the existing market and affordability gaps. The fund, which will leverage public, private, and traditional lending capital, can be used to help construct, renovate, repair, and rehabilitate housing in the City. It can also be used to add additional capacity and resources to housing support agencies working toward solutions for housing stability and displacement prevention.
For more information about the Syracuse Housing Study and Syracuse Housing and Neighborhood Strategy Project, visit syracusehousingstudy.com.