Tompkins County Department of Planning and Sustainability has released the 2022 Housing Snapshot, the fourth edition of the report since the 2018 Housing Snapshot. The 2022 edition documents achievements in providing supportive, affordable, and student housing, but finds that the local housing market falls well short of meeting overall housing need.
The report draws on numerous data sources to assess demographic and housing conditions trends in the county and tracks the local housing market’s progress in meeting 2016-2025 housing production targets identified in the Tompkins County 2017 Housing Strategy. In addition to updating the community on housing trends, the Housing Snapshot provides information that the County and partner organizations use to help secure financial resources to address local housing need.
The 2022 report finds that Tompkins County continues to see greater population and household growth than surrounding counties. The average household size continues to decrease, and our population is aging. In 2011, residents over the age of 65 made up 10.7 percent of the county’s population; by 2021, they constituted 14.6 percent.
The Housing Snapshot also identifies housing affordability challenges faced by county residents, including a rise in the number of severely burdened renter households that pay more than half of their income on housing, a sharp escalation in the cost of for-sale homes, and an increase in homelessness. National trends, such as high interest rates, labor shortages, and increased cost of construction, will pose challenges to local housing production and affordability in coming years.
The report notes several successes in meeting 2016-2025 housing production targets. Through the work of the County’s many housing partners, 100 permanent supportive housing beds were created from 2016 to 2022, meeting the target established in the 2017 Housing Strategy. The off-campus student housing construction boom and construction of Cornell University’s North Campus Residential Extension dormitory project has resulted in the creation of over 3,600 student beds, exceeding the student housing target.
However, the market struggled to deliver affordable and market rate senior housing, with only 139 senior units created from 2016 to 2022. The report finds the biggest gap in ownership and rental workforce housing – housing that meets need across the entire income range of local occupations. Non-profit and for-profit developers have contributed to addressing the gap in rental workforce housing by completing 466 affordable, workforce housing units from 2016 to 2022, with many of the projects partially funded by the Community Housing Development Fund.