Senate Investment Will Help Ease Housing Crunch from Returning Troops
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that she has secured $200,000 to help ease the urgent housing crunch facing Jefferson County communities as a result of the expected return of thousands of Fort Drum troops.
The money, from a special economic development fund controlled by the Senate, will be pooled with funding from the county and other local governments to aid in the construction of new housing in communities near the post, and help leverage millions of dollars in private investment..
“Community leaders, military commanders—even the members of Governor Cuomo’s North Country Economic Development Council—all have identified the urgent need for quality, affordable military housing as a key impediment to the continued growth of Fort Drum, the surrounding community and the economy of all of Northern New York,” Senator Ritchie said.
“I view this funding as a down payment; there is much more work to be done. But combined with funding from the county and other government agencies, we are showing our commitment to keeping and strengthening Fort Drum and the US Army mission here, as well as the thousands of jobs that this funding will help create, and continue to support in our communities.”
The Senate grant can be used for infrastructure improvements connected to new housing projects in the region, Senator Ritchie said.
Senator Ritchie has been working with local leaders for months on the urgent problem of Fort Drum housing. Earlier this year, she helped secure an agreement for additional funding for housing from the county, has been involved in ongoing discussions with the Governor’s office to urge additional state support for the post, and urged members of the Governor’s Economic Development Council to make Fort Drum housing a top priority.