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Purser Weighs In on the Troubled Housing Market in Syracuse and New York State on WCNY

May 20, 2024


Gretchen Purser

Gretchen Purser

The City of Syracuse updated its zoning code last summer, with one of the changes impacting the construction of buildings that have 20 units or more. It's now required that 10 percent of the units within that building must be affordable. But some experts question whether or not that will help the troubled housing market.

“I certainly think that the changes to the zoning process could increase the supply of housing in Syracuse in particular,” says Gretchen Purser, associate professor of sociology and director of the law, society and policy integrated learning major.

But, she adds, “We are really dealing with two interrelated issues here. The first being the crisis of affordability, and the other one being the crisis of habitability. And one of the central problems that we face here in the city in particular is that there is a huge swath of the housing that is substandard. It's rife with code violations,” she says.

“So changing the zoning isn't going to address some of the most pressing issues that tenants face in our community and so I think we really need to have a multipronged approach to address the housing crisis,” Purser says.

Watch the full interview via WCNY Connect NY.

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