Binghamton Mayoral Candidates Discuss Housing

BINGHAMTON, NY – The candidates for Binghamton Mayor are sharing their proposals for what should be done to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city and strengthen code enforcement.

Republican Jared Kraham held a news conference today to release his 8 point plan for housing and code. He’d like to add a new dedicated attorney to prosecute slumlords and head up a housing integrity task force. The current deputy mayor would also add 2 to 3 additional code inspectors to the current 6 in the department. Kraham wants to deny building permits for properties that owe back taxes. And he wants code violations to be searchable online.

“More resources are needed from the city in order to combat these bad actors, these bad landlords who own dozens of properties across the City of Binghamton and have no intention of fixing them up or they allow them to deteriorate and hurt the neighborhoods around them,” says Kraham.

Democratic candidate Joe Burns agrees that the city needs to crack down on not only out-of-town slumlords, but also banks that hold so-called zombie properties.

The Southside Councilman would like to use some of the 46 million dollars that Binghamton is receiving from the federal government in pandemic relief be used to bolster the code enforcement office temporarily in order to catch up.

“We have to be able to really crack down. We’ve got to change the code laws, we have to make them stricter, and we really have to crack down on the out-of-town landlords that buy distressed properties, do nothing with them, except let them become more distressed, and then sell them to some other bad player,” says Burns.

As for housing, Kraham additional money go to programs to help first-time homebuyers and to assist seniors with making home repairs.

And Kraham wants to build additional affordable housing units and have the city start contributing funds to the Broome County Land Bank.

Burns thinks the city should have devoted more of the federal pandemic relief to affordable housing projects. He’d like to use some of the money to give small grants to homeowners looking to fix up their properties.

Joe Burns Full Interview: