Focus Greater Syracuse is looking to the community for ideas on improving housing in order to keep aging baby boomers in the area.
“We need their money. We’ve been talking for a long time in Central New York about keeping our younger population, which is a huge challenge. We need to keep our older population, if for no other reason, selfishly, they are the wealthiest part of our population. We need their money,” says Realtor Don Radke
Don Radke chairs the city’s Landmark Preservation Board. He was one of three panelists at a Focus Greater Syracuse forum this morning, centered on creating housing options that will suit boomers’ changing needs. Radke identifies barriers in strict planning and zoning rules that could be changed.
“Zero-lot-line building; we can allow shared housing; we can allow small businesses in places of residence.”Radke also sees opportunities in vacant properties, which can be re-customized for individual needs. He favors offering payment-in-lieu-of-tax deals to developers, who remodel residences. But, he says, they aren’t the only ones who should receive such incentives…
“The same thing can be achieved, I think, by developing a PILOT program for an individual who wants to buy a house and put that money into it that they would put into property taxes and rebuild a community that way.”
The change in housing needs could be an opportunity for construction. Home Builders and Remodelers Association Director Mary Thompson says, so far, her organization has found people haven’t really identified what they want.
“And they’re trying to decide, ‘Do I want to stay where I am? Do I want to down-size? Do I want to move into a different area or closer?”
Focus Greater Syracuse is conducting an “age-friendly-cny” survey for thoughts…find it at focussyracuse.org