September 16, 2021
(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayoral candidate Jared M. Kraham on Tuesday announced his Safe Housing and Code Enforcement Plan — priorities to revitalize Binghamton’s neighborhoods by cracking down on slumlords, helping families living paycheck to paycheck, and supporting longtime homeowners who are neighborhood anchors.
“It’s time to start treating slumlords like drug dealers,” said Kraham. “Too many of Binghamton’s working families live in substandard housing owned by bad actors with no intentions of fixing their deteriorating properties. And it’s not only the tenants that suffer — bad landlords hurt entire neighborhoods. Residents deserve to live in safe, affordable homes, in neighborhoods free of blight and full of integrity and character. My plan builds on the progress of the last seven and a half years to move Binghamton toward this goal.”
Kraham’s Safe Housing and Code Enforcement Plan will:
Create New Attorney Position To Prosecute Slumlords And Lead Housing Integrity Task Force — Position solely focused on prosecuting code cases in City Court and holding accountable slumlords and serious repeat code offenders. Attorney will also lead a new City task force, which will focus on enterprise-level investigations of unsafe housing conditions and persistent blight. The attorney may also make referrals for criminal prosecution or to state enforcement agencies.
Hire New Code & Building Inspectors — Boost resources in the City’s Code Enforcement Office to handle the growing complaint caseload.
Deny building permits to property tax scofflaws — Adopt a new local law, requiring applications for building permits to provide proof that the property is not subject to delinquent taxes. Slumlords will no longer be able to stiff taxpayers while getting units ready to rent and make money Exceptions may be made regarding life safety improvements in occupied residential properties.
Make code violations and construction permits public and searchable — Through new municipal software and public access, residents can stay informed and up-to-date on code actions in their neighborhoods.
Invest in First-Time Homebuyer Programs — To attract young professionals and families to Binghamton neighborhoods.
Invest in Senior Home Repair Programs — Help fixed-income and longtime homeowners make much-needed home repairs to stay in their homes.
Expand Affordable Housing Opportunities — Building new units for working families that spur economic development in areas of the City in need of revitalization.
Directly Fund Broome County Land Bank — To support rehabilitation of foreclosed and abandoned properties into safe affordable housing.
As Deputy Mayor, Kraham has worked with various developers to advance major affordable housing projects across the City, including Canal Plaza, the Front Street Gateway Project, Crandall Street Revitalization Project, North of Main II, Family Enrichment Network’s Homeless Housing Project, and Greater Opportunities North Side Project.
Since 2014, Kraham has served as a board member at the Binghamton Housing Authority, an entity funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides housing to low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities. Binghamton Housing Authority manages 641 public housing units and 821 housing vouchers.