Think of a large Thermos, large enough to put a family in. That’s a passive house. Passive houses are buildings that rely on their construction, insulation, and the environment to heat them in winter and cool them in summer.
They’re popular in Europe, but there are only a handful of them in the U.S. and one of them belongs to a family in upstate New York, who are getting ready to take on their first winter in their passive home.
The pool of affordable housing in Syracuse is growing with the development of four multi-family apartment buildings along the James Street corridor.
City neighborhood and development commissioner Paul Driscoll doesn't think there are any other housing projects like it in the city: a mix of market rate apartments with affordable apartments in one building. The city is opening these four new apartment buildings after major renovations, and Driscoll said the affordability factor is key.
Syracuse lawmakers are trying to work out concerns over a proposed law that would allow police to crack down on problem houses in city neighborhoods.
It's a case where constitutional rights collide with neighborhood concerns. Councilor Khalid Bey wants to use a 100-year-old law, which was once used to crack down on brothels, as a way to rid neighborhoods of houses that have become hangouts for drug dealers and other criminals.
Watertown mayor Jeff Graham voted against making changes to the city's zoning code that essentially aimed to ban roommates.
The Watertown City Council has received a lot of pushback and even ridicule in the media recently for passing what's being referred to as a “roommate ban.” Last month, in response to a neighbor dispute, the City Council removed language from the zoning code that allowed the renting out of rooms in single-family homes. But city planning officials say the regulatory change is completely unenforceable.
Nearly all of Fort Drum's soldiers are at the post right now, not on deployments – and that's a first for the region since the installation's expansion in 2001. That has tightened the region's housing market, for soldiers, who have fewer choices, and for civilians, who don't receive housing assistance like soldiers do and are looking for affordable housing.