A recent report from the government-backed lender Freddie Mac shows the stock of affordable rental housing dropped by 60 percent between 2010 and 2016. 

Of the rental housing Freddie Mac financed nationwide in 2010, 11 percent was affordable for very-low income renters, defined as those who make less than 50 percent of an area's median income. At a refinancing in 2016, only four percent of those same rentals was still affordable.


ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A local couple who built their own "tiny home" is offering advice to other minimalists.  Caitlin Barrale and Mark Walther started construction on their home in the spring of last year. They just recently moved in to the 238-square foot space.  Caitlin said it wasn't too difficult for her to pare down her belongings because she likes to live a minimalist lifestyle and keep her home tidy.

Tax Credit Turns NY’s Historic Buildings Into Assets

Apr 7, 2017
Gabe Altieri / WSKG

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Over the last four years, the New York State and federal rehabilitation tax credit program has spurred $3 billion of investment in historic commercial properties. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State led the nation in the number of completed historic building revitalization projects using the tax credits. 

Why Every New PA Apartment Building Need Not Have A Snowflake

Mar 20, 2017
Margaret J. Krauss

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - Both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are in the midst of multi-year building booms. More than 4,000 apartment units were built in the two cities last year. 

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - New York homeowners have complained about changes that were made to the STAR tax relief program last year. 

Homelessness Dips Slightly In Central New York

Feb 13, 2017
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Results from an annual survey show little change in the number of people who are homeless in central New York. The Point In Time study records in a single day how many people are utilizing emergency and transitional shelters and those who are sleeping out on the streets. 

Across the United States generally, and Pennsylvania cities specifically, there's a constant, gnawing issue that worries elected leaders, social service agencies and the poor alike. There's not enough affordable housing and it often feels like there never will be. 

shadowfall / Flickr

Advocates for the homeless say Governor Cuomo and the Legislature don’t need to call a special session to free up more money to help create more housing for those in need. 

edkohler / Flickr


(WBFO) Under a new state law that takes effect Tuesday, New York residents are encouraged to report zombie properties. 

pasa47 / Flickr

Anyone who’s looked for a home in Tompkins County knows there’s a housing crunch. A recent study from the county shows there’s not enough. Organizers of an upcoming housing summit hope they’ll find some solutions.

Alex Crichton, WXXI

(WXXI) Some people who need a service or emotional support animal have been denied housing. That's according to the Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights, Helen Diane Foster. 

What is a zombie home?

Oct 4, 2016

Zombie homes are abandoned properties left unmaintained during foreclosure proceedings. Whether intentional or not, the home has been left vacant by the homeowner; in other cases, banks have foreclosed on the homes but haven’t done anything with the property.

PA Borough Will Let Felon Tenant Ban Die

Jul 14, 2016
Emily Previti, WITF

Officials in one Cambria County borough have decided not to fight a recent court ruling that overturned its ban on landlords renting to people convicted in the past seven years of a felony drug offense. Borough council met on Wednesday for the first time since the ruling, and just a few days before the appeal filing deadline. 

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY

One Cambria County borough has been tight-lipped as the deadline approaches for appealing a court ruling that overturned a local ban on renting to ex-offenders. In Gallitzin, it specifically focused on people convicted of a felony drug offense within the past seven years.

Old Shoe Woman / flickr

Some homeless advocates are dismayed by what they say is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s failure at the end of the legislative session to follow through with promises to fund five years of new supportive housing and other services for the homeless. 

Jessica Kourkounis/for NewsWorks

More than 53,000 people in Pennsylvania live in government-assisted nursing homes, hospitals or institutions. But in a new plan, the state Department of Human Services said it's hoping to move a lot of those people to apartments or homes. There's a good reason to move people from institutions into apartments, said Ted Dallas, secretary of the agency. It's easier for them to see their families, go to the grocery store, and live their lives. But that's not all.

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

In a city where available living spaces are filled to capacity, micro-apartments are part of a larger effort to address the housing shortage and encourage commuters to move to Ithaca.

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

Community land trusts across the state are joining forces. The Pennsylvania Community Land Trust Collaborative launched last week, with 10 participating groups from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley and Centre County.

Eleanor Klibanoff / Keystone Crossroads

The Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund is about to get a lot bigger. For the past four years, PHARE funds have been collected as part of the impact fee assessed on each gas well in the Marcellus Shale. Those funds, totaling $34 million over four years, have been distributed to counties in the Shale region to increase housing affordability and accessibility.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Communities living in the footprint of the Marcellus Shale have faced housing challenges as a result. PHARE funding is expected to help ease that burden. The Marcellus Shale runs under 60 percent of Pennsylvania. But the areas where drilling takes place feel the economic effects more than most. On Thursday, those counties received $8.1 million in state funding to support 44 local projects that address housing availability, community development and rental assistance.

Freaktography / Flickr

A national housing report includes a dubious distinction for Rochester. The analysis by RealtyTrac says Rochester led the nation in the third quarter for the share of so-called "zombie" property foreclosures as a percentage of all vacant properties. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

If you’re looking to rent or buy a home near Fort Drum, now would be a good time. Apartment complexes in surrounding towns are offering special deals in hopes of filling empty units. Recent deployments at Fort Drum has help create an abundance of housing.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

About 370 adults and children are currently staying in emergency shelters in Syracuse. Syracuse is focused on poverty now more than ever in light of a recent report which rates the city as having the high concentration of poverty for blacks and Hispanics in the nation.

The state is fighting a lawsuit over building codes in Pennsylvania.

Ithaca has a housing problem - prices are high and availability is low. As another semester looms and college students return,  WSKG Managing Editor Bret Jaspers spoke with Ithaca Voice writer Brian Crandall about the numbers behind the housing crunch.

Solvejg Wastvedt/WSKG News

Construction is underway on a new housing development in Ithaca’s Collegetown neighborhood. On a recent afternoon, a crew filled in the foundation for the future Collegetown Crossing. The building is set to open next summer with just under 50 apartments. It’s down the street from Cornell University, in a bustling area with several other student developments.

Jennifer Nugent and her three kids are throwing a big, blue ball around in the small living room of their rental home.

The kids are happy, but Nugent isn't. She planned to raise them in a place with much more room to play.

And she was. That is, until she learned that home was uninhabitable.

Two years ago, she and her husband bought a country home in the small central Indiana town of Mooresville.

"It was blue and it had a lot of potential for us to add on," she says. "We really, really wanted that house."

Solvejg Wastvedt/WSKG News

An affordable housing project in Oneonta just got nearly $7 million from New York state. Gary Herzig says the project fills a big need.

“We have very few affordable housing units for working families,” Herzig says. “In addition, we have a list, a long list, of vacant housing units that unfortunately is getting longer every year.”

Jensen Caraballo has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, and he's used a wheelchair since he was a kid. He's also on a fixed income.

Though Rochester, New York often ranks high on lists of cities with the most affordable housing in the United States, for Caraballo, affordability isn't his only criteria.

"You know, if they're accessible there just not affordable and if they're affordable there just not integrated with everyone else.”

Greenbelt Alliance / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Housing Authority residents are coming to Albany to urge lawmakers to increase funding for affordable housing to improve conditions.
Those participating in Monday's rally at the state Capitol will be joined by members of the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway faction of Democrats who this year are pushing for improvements to public housing.