For every 100 extremely low-income households in Broome County, New York, there are 17 affordable housing units. 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 units of luxury student housing are constructed each year that are too expensive for low-income households. The question I aim to answer is whether or not the Binghamton low-income housing market is overpriced for its value? I hypothesize that the answer is yes and that the university has dramatically affected the market. Through a series of interviews, I will investigate the Binghamton low-income housing market, specifically how Binghamton University has affected its recent growth. These interviews will be conducted with community leaders, landlords, tenants, and local politicians. I plan to compare the quality of housing units as described by tenants to their listed prices to establish a concept of worth. The impact caused by Binghamton University may be largely due to the plans to expand the university’s student body to twenty thousand. Binghamton is far past the maximum supply level for student housing, although hundreds of new units are built every year. Meanwhile, there is a severe shortage of low-income housing. Contractors know that they can make more money off competing in the over-saturated student housing market rather than the growing low-income housing market. The city has been slow to enact policy to encourage contractors to build affordable housing as these housing projects and the university’s growth bring money to the area.
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Fornara, Trevor, "Calling Binghamton Our Home: A Housing Market on the Rise, Leaving Many Behind" (2021). Research Days Posters 2021. 104.