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Wednesday 19 September 2018
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Mayor Walsh: City’s Innovation Office to Focus on Housing Stability in 2018

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By Staff –

 

syracuseThe city of Syracuse’s Office of Innovation, or “i-team,” has announced housing stability will be its priority area for 2018.

Mayor Ben Walsh has chosen the priority with input from the city’s Common Council, informed by six weeks of public engagement, the city said.

“Everyone deserves to have a safe, healthy, and affordable place to live, and as a city, we can do a better job of ensuring that,” Mayor Walsh stated.

Housing stability is a major challenge for Syracuse.

In some parts of the city, more than 30 percent of residents move each year, and between 15 and 44 housing units are declared unfit to live in each month.

“Housing instability and transiency have enduring effects on families’ abilities to obtain basic necessities like food, clothing, and medicine, and can lead to frequent school moves, higher rates of absenteeism, and lower test scores among children,” officials said.

Under the housing stability priority area, the i-team will work to develop programs and initiatives to reduce the number of times families involuntarily relocate to new homes, and address the challenges related to utilities, finances, eviction, housing quality, and health and safety that contribute to housing instability.

Determining the focus area will be the first step in the team’s year-long process.

“The i-team worked to engage as many people as possible through a variety of channels,” Walsh stated. “The combination of seeking input, both online and in community spaces, and presenting at public events yielded hundreds of responses. It provided real data that clearly indicated the issues our city cares about most, which was an important part of my decision.”

The city’s public engagement effort began in mid-January, and almost 900 residents participated in its poll, ranking sidewalks (282 votes), housing stability (244 votes), and alternative transportation (226 votes) as top issues for the city to address.

Visit the city’s open data portal, at http://data.syrgov.net, to view data from the city’s poll.

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