The Search for Affordable Housing

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Habitat for Humanity constructed a home in Granville in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Rick Levinson of RLPhoto, Inc.)

A special report from NYVT Media: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

From politicians to we, the people, the fight to find affordable housing in New York is real.

Very real.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is making the issue a key point in her agenda this year, and state Sen. Dan Stec and Assemblyman Matt Simpson are among the area lawmakers who are focusing on it.

“Expanding affordable housing is a top priority in communities across our state,” said Stec, whose district includes part of Washington County.

Hebron town supervisor
Brian Campbell

But local leaders are issuing a caution to the words coming out of Albany.

“We need to quit listening to what they say and watch what laws and regulations they put on us. That is the real story here,” said Brian Campbell, Hebron town supervisor and a member of the Washington County board of supervisors.

For the Granville Sentinel, Whitehall Times and the rest of NYVT Media, the real story is crucial.

With nearly half of Washington County’s rental households and a quarter of homeowners faced with housing costs above the state’s affordability threshold of 30% of household income, NYVT set out to identify real people affected by housing affordability, which state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called “a critical concern” in New York in a lengthy report released four years ago.

And that was before the Covid pandemic, when the median sales price of a home in the county in December 2019 was $164,000, more than $50,000 lower than the $215,000 figure at the end of last year.

Yes, housing issues are hitting home in Washington County – for a young man who is homeless and jobless, for two senior citizens who are being helped by the federal government, and for a young couple who have found assistance from a home-building nonprofit.

NYVT Media will address all of these real stories – as well as articles focusing on home developers, real-estate agents and even robotic technology – in special coverage through the end of the month.

Even though the median sales price of a home in Washington County is lower than in all neighboring counties, people are struggling in the housing market. But there should be one inalienable tenet, according to Hochul.

“Housing is a human right,” she said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Part 1: Politics

Part 2: Supply

Part 3: Solutions

Housing facts & figures