The Riverside Apartments will accomplish the goal of providing much-needed affordable housing in the Oneonta area. Oneonta is a small community, dominated by presence of two colleges, SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College. In addition to student housing demand, local housing stock is sought by investors for lucrative Airbnb rentals, catering to seasonal tourists and a recent surge in instructional youth baseball camps. As a result, a market study shows strong demand for the project, citing a host of critical variables all working in its favor, including: a limited supply of good quality or new affordable housing in the region; competitive rental rates for all unit types compared to the current market; and a significant number of income-qualified households for all units. Additionally, there are currently no available permanent supportive housing options for individuals with substance abuse disorder anywhere in Otsego County.
The critical need for affordable housing is outlined in several recent studies, copies of which may be downloaded below. Key findings include:
A HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT OF: OTSEGO COUNTY, NY (2018)
Conducted by: Novogradac & Company LLP
“There is a lack of good quality housing throughout Otsego County where the majority of housing stock likely exhibits poor to fair condition (both renter and owner-occupied). There is ample demand for additional affordable housing throughout all market areas, both with and without subsidy. However, there has been a lack of new construction since the recent recession. We believe that a 50 to 75-unit mixed-income multifamily development could be absorbed in the market without cannibalizing existing rental developments. We recommend utilizing a potential development site close to downtown Oneonta to attract tenants that would income-qualify for the unrestricted market rate units as well as affordable units. Further, based on the demand calculations provided previously, we believe an additional 100 units could be developed, county-wide. Further, based on high demand, up to 100 additional units with subsidies, and up to 100 market rate units, would be supported county-wide."
“According to The Continuum of Care (CoC), a program designed to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness, the homeless population is homeless for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are job loss, mental health issues, substance abuse, and foreclosure. Problems at home, including domestic violence and divorce, also play in a role in homelessness. Given the high number of foreclosures in the Otsego County market and a lack of facilities available for the homeless in the area, it appears there is a need for additional supportive housing.”
OTSEGO COUNTY COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT (2017)
Conducted by: Opportunities for Otsego
In addition to the quantitative data collected through the Needs Assessment process, Opportunities for Otsego distributed an electronic and paper survey to the community to solicit opinions, observations, and other information about the state of services and gaps within Otsego County.
Of 267 survey respondents, 84% answered “Yes” to the statement, “Housing is a problem in our area.”
77% of survey respondents indicated “cost of rent and housing payments” are an issue in Otsego County.
28% of homeowners and 55% of renters in Otsego County consider themselves “cost burdened.”
INTEGRATED HOUSING NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES STUDY (2009)
Conducted by: River Street Planning and Development LLC
The Otsego County Planning Department and its consultant, River Street Planning & Development LLC, prepared an Integrated Housing Needs & Opportunities Study to identify and address the needs of the diverse economic segments of the county’s population as they relate to available and affordable housing. Among the key strategies outlined in the report are:
Identify and improve residential development within city, town and village centers.
Encourage the development of mixed income housing projects.