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The city of Binghamton is in the depths of a housing crisis that has been growing for decades. According to the Stakeholders of Broome County, a housing advocacy coalition, there are only 17 affordable housing units available for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. This deficit in low-income housing in the city of Binghamton and greater Broome County has been persistent for over 20 years. Despite this, hundreds of luxury housing units have been constructed in recent years that are marketed toward Binghamton University students and are too expensive for low-income households to afford. How does the presence of Binghamton University impact the local housing market, specifically the low-income housing market? Additionally, what policy solutions could be implemented to help alleviate the Binghamton housing crisis? I investigated the Binghamton low-income housing market through a series of interviews with tenants, landlords, non-profit and community leaders, public officials and university administrators. I specifically looked at Binghamton University’s effect on the housing landscape in the City of Binghamton. The impact caused by Binghamton University is partially due to the University’s 20 by 2020 plan announced in 2014, in which they planned to expand the school’s undergraduate and graduate enrollment from around 16,000 to 20,000 by 2020. The University fell 2,000 students shy of this expansion goal, however the planned expansion may have been a large factor in the construction of several student housing projects since the 2014 proposal. The City of Binghamton’s supply of student housing far surpasses the actual demand, although new student housing projects are proposed every year. Meanwhile, there is a severe shortage of low-income housing. Developers know that they can make more money in the over-saturated student housing market rather than the growing low-income housing market. Although policies have been written and proposed, the city and county have failed to enact sufficient policy to encourage developers to build affordable housing, as student housing projects and the university’s growth bring money to the downtown area, outpricing the local residents.
Fornara, T. J. (2022). A Housing Market on the Rise, Leaving Many Behind: Voices of Binghamton on the Housing Crisis. Alpenglow: Binghamton University Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity, 8(1). Retrieved from https://orb.binghamton.edu/alpenglowjournal/vol8/iss1/9