LaBella was engaged by the City of Watervliet to assess housing conditions and develop a strategy to improve housing quality and availability. LaBella’s work included a demographic overview of residents, an assessment of the quality and condition of housing stock, a community survey to gauge interest in housing rehabilitation needs, and an evaluation of current/historic housing related programs. LaBella also emphasized strategic partnership opportunities and how to leverage community investments that impact neighborhood stabilization.
The City of Watervliet is unique in that over 65 percent of housing is renter occupied and nearly all the housing stock is more than 75 years old. Household incomes lag behind Albany County and New York State with 60 percent of households noted as low-to-moderate income. Rent-burdened households and lack of ownership presents a challenge to improving housing quality and the opportunity for homeownership.
LaBella’s recommendations identify Targeted Investment Areas (at right) to stack and connect community development investments in infrastructure, parks, and streetscape with additional housing-related programs. Deliberately focusing on Target Areas, leveraging public and private investments will raise awareness of community improvements and help transform Watervliet’s neighborhoods.