Census says Greene, Schoharie counties lost homes
Emilie Munson reports in the Times Union about how new census data that shows part of the local housing crisis. Greene and Schoharie counties were among 21 in New York that saw a decline in their numbers of housing units from 2010 to 2020, according to new U.S. Census data released in August. In Columbia County, housing units only grew by 1.38 percent in the past decade. The census data is largely from before the pandemic began, and since then the region has been inundated with folks buying property and raising prices. That's on top of many housing units being turned into short term rentals in the past few years, with not enough hotel rooms fueling all these trends, and pricing out long-term residents. Schoharie County had the third largest percent decrease of any county in New York, losing five percent of housing units. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated 600 New York homes were damaged or destroyed during the storms surrounding Hurricane Irene in 2011, many in Greene and Schoharie counties. "The decline in housing stock noted in the 2020 Census, and particularly affordable housing, is a by-product of the lack of economic opportunities in rural upstate New York," said Michael Borges, executive director of the Rural Housing Coalition of New York. "Condemned or foreclosed housing is due to lack of economic opportunities for their owners and the flight of residents to areas where there are better opportunities." Read more about this story in the Times Union.