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Auburn seeks to join New York’s pro-housing initiative amid housing crisis

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  • Staff Report 

Auburn is taking significant steps to address its housing crisis by applying to become a part of Governor Kathy Hochul’s Pro-Housing Community Program. This initiative, launched in 2023, aims to encourage municipalities to increase their housing stock by offering access to $650 million in state funding for those that demonstrate housing growth or commit to pro-housing principles. Auburn Mayor Jimmy Giannettino has officially expressed the city’s interest in this program, signaling Auburn’s commitment to expanding housing availability and affordability.

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The program, which has already welcomed 20 communities including the village of Pulaski as the first recipients of the pro-housing certification, offers a promising solution to New York’s widespread housing shortages. Auburn’s participation could unlock significant state resources, building on its previous $10 million award from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, to tackle low vacancy rates and high rents that restrict housing options for its residents.

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The urgency of Auburn’s housing issue is underscored by the impending arrival of Micron’s massive semiconductor manufacturing project in nearby Onondaga County, expected to create thousands of jobs and increase regional housing demand. Auburn, with a homeownership rate below the state average, is proactively seeking solutions through its subcommittee on housing, emphasizing the necessity of a multi-faceted approach to ensure sufficient housing for its current and future residents.