Sustainable Tompkins organized a series of “thought pieces” for the Ithaca Times this spring exploring some of the issues associated with Ithaca’s housing imbalances.  Data and statistics are scarce, but we’ve been hearing for a while about the extremely high cost of housing in the Ithaca area, along with many anecdotes about lower-income people, even long-term residents, being forced out of the city because they can’t afford the property taxes or the ever-increasing rents. Others who are anxious to buy a home and start a family can’t find anything on the market.  This problem has been growing in amplitude the past few years and we anticipate continued imbalance between demand and supply.  But it isn’t a simple matter of just adding buildings to our community.  We must examine how the costs and benefits of growth are distributed in our community and take a deeper look at our assumptions about carrying capacity and how market forces fulfill demand.

March 16- Gay Nicholson, President, Sustainable Tompkins: Let’s Work on Development Together

March 16- Frost Travis, Principal, Travis Hyde Properties: Demand Drives Development

March 23- Anna Kelles, County District 2 Legislator: Urban Growth and Character

March 30- Kirby Edmonds, Coordinator, Building Bridges:  Addressing Dislocation

April 6- Paul Mazzarella, Executive Director, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services:  Filling the Affordable Middle

April 13- Seph Murtagh, City of Ithaca 2nd ward Alderperson and chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee:  Development and Its Discontents

April 20- Krys Cail, rural business consultant with DE Squared and Cooperative Development Institute: Rural Land for Housing?

Be sure to join us on April 23 at The Space for Earth Day Ithaca from 12-3 pm.  We’ll open the day with a community conversation on the housing crisis in the Ithaca area, and explore the trends, constraints, and tools available to address this ongoing challenge.