Syracuse's Innovation Team Seeks Resident Input at "Ideation Sessions" on Housing Stability

Jul 11, 2018

This chalkboard art graces the entrance to the I-Team's office in city hall.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

The City of Syracuse Innovation team is looking for input from residents about challenges with…and ways to improve housing stability in their neighborhoods.   The first of three “ideation sessions” will be held Thursday at the Westcott Community Center.

Housing stability is the I-team's priority area for 2018, and director Adria Finch says the team comes to the table already knowing what’s causing “instability.”  There’s transiency…data show about a quarter of the city’s population moves every year.  Many of them might be due to evictions…roughly 10,000 annually.  She says finding out why is key.

"Is the eviction related to income.  Is the eviction related to high utility costs. Is it related to perhaps housing quality, or is there a retaliatory eviction."

Break it down further, and Finch says you might see challenges facing landlords and owners.

"We have a housing quality problem here in Syracuse.  Sometimes it's too expensive to fix-up a property. That requires people to move because there's a problem with the windows or there's a problem with lead paint."

She hopes residents turn out to brainstorm ideas, maybe those who’ve had to move because of eviction, housing quality, crime, or other reasons.  Finch says much like the snow summit held earlier this year, they’ll set up different stations so residents can engage in activities and conversation in a more interactive and productive way.  She says some suggestions might be more regionalized depending on the neighborhood, but suspects there will be common themes.  Finch says they’re looking into making information they already have more digestible.

"They don't know where the good places to live are.  They don't know where they can live where there aren't code violations or where there isn't a history of eviction.  Is there a way for us to publish that information?  Acutally, on our open data portal Datacuse, we already have this data set that shows all the properties with code violations since 2012."

Thursday's first meeting will be held at the Westcott Community Center on Euclid Ave. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

More information on the I-team's initial work can be found here.

The following two meetings will be held: 

Southwest Community Center

401 South Avenue, Syracuse

Monday, July 16, 5:30-7:30 pm

Northeast Community Center

716 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse

Thursday, July 19, 5:30-7:30 pm