Agencies that provide services to the homeless in the Binghamton area say there is historically a lack of space for families while facilities are available for homeless men and for some homeless women with children. But that situation could change a little under a promise from City Hall.

In his 5th State of the City Address, Binghamton Mayor Richard David says $4.5 million is to be used to build a 19-unit shelter for homeless families at vacant sites on Virgil Street on the North Side where blighted structures were recently torn down.  The new facility is to be operated by the Family Enrichment Network and would provide at least 50 housing units for families and individuals over the next four years.  The site is located near the Lee Barta Community Center.

The Republican said the City needs to face the issue of poverty and create a brighter future for residents.  David says in the Binghamton City School District, there has been a 40 percent increase in students facing homelessness since 2012.

The Mayor says the number of safe, affordable housing for the rest of the community also needs attention with moves toward developing properties on Crandall Street and North Street.

A recent housing study presented by “The Agency” and the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce reported a real shortage of affordable, market-rate, non-student specific housing.

Projects to develop a site on Hawley Street in Downtown Binghamton into a six level parking ramp, market-rate housing space and 6,000 square feet on the ground floor for commercial use, the building of a mixed-use project at 50 Front Street in the area of the old Sheradon Hotel, and the rehabilitation of a historic site on Emma Street in the First Ward, also to include market-rate housing lofts, could help ease the housing shortage.  Times for completion of many of the project are still not set.