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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

NY housing organization seeks solutions to rural housing issues

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023   

Rural New York organizations are working to tackle issues with rural housing. Rural counties throughout the state are suffering from aging housing stock and an ever dwindling supply.

In 2021, the New York State Comptroller found 10 rural counties had 5,500 fewer housing units than in 2016.

Megan Murphy, executive director of the rural housing organization Adirondack Roots, said places like Essex County are seeing the ripple effects of rural New York's housing problems.

"The county itself has dozens of jobs that are going unfilled because one of the hardest parts of this is that hiring in people from outside, they're not able to find housing," Murphy observed. "We're hearing this from health care institutions, we're hearing this from nonprofits, and from others."

She argued solutions require new rental units and affordable housing projects in rural areas. Murphy added while most rural counties are facing a housing shortage, the problems look different in each place. Essex County, for example, needs increased funding for Adirondack Roots' existing home rehabilitation, and New York State's mobile home replacement program.

New York State is investing in rural areas. Several new rental developments have been built across the state in 2023. But Murphy pointed out new projects are expensive and potential renters are already struggling to make ends meet with low wages.

"When you're talking about new builds, it's 'how do we figure out how to create a situation where we can either reduce the cost of building, or create a situation where there is a subsidy for folks so that they can get into new homes?'" Murphy explained.

She emphasized it also applies to maintaining existing homes. Murphy acknowledged there is no silver bullet to the issues surrounding rural housing, but contended it will take an interconnected, holistic approach to solve them.


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