The City of Syracuse’s Office of Innovation (“i-team”) has announced housing stability as its priority area for 2018.

Mayor Ben Walsh chose the priority with input from the Common Council, informed by six weeks of public engagement that uncovered the important issues according to residents.

According to the mayor’s office, more than 30% of residents move each year, creating a deeply negative impact on families and children.

“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 (e.g., food, clothing, and medicine) and can lead to frequent school moves, higher rates of absenteeism, and lower test scores among children,” the mayor’s office said. 

Under the housing stability priority area, the i-team will work to develop programs and initiatives to reduce the number of times that families involuntarily relocate to new homes.  

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

 The public was able to vote on what the priority area should be for this year. 

Almost 900 residents participated in the poll and ranked sidewalks (282 votes), housing stability (244 votes), and alternative transportation (226 votes) as top issues for the i-team to tackle.