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Mohawk Valley

North Country short on housing

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: North Country short on housing
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Looking for affordable housing in the North Country is becoming a problem. Not only for those in the military but also for community members. YNN's Carmella Mataloni spoke with officials to see how they are handling the limited space.

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- It's Carl McLaughlin's job to help people find housing on Fort Drum. He says the housing market is in for some changes. With many soldiers still on post and two units planning to deploy in the winter, housing is tight.

"What we expect will happen is we will not have as many families who stay back, leave the area. They are going to stay in their housing and ride out the deployment," said Carl McLaughlin, FDRLO Executive Director.

With the Basic Allowance for Housing rate increase choices are limited for those who are in the military and those community members who are looking for affordable housing.

"Obviously there are ongoing projects that are opening up. They haven't all opened up so if they are looking to rent they may have some problems," said Lance Evans, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors.

Those ongoing projects are on County Road Route 202 and behind Target, which will add about seven hundred more units to the area.

Officials say that these new apartment complexes will help with the housing shortages and they hope to start moving people in by the spring of this year.

"Both projects are build it and fill it build it and fill it and that will be through 2014," said Mr. McLaughlin.

But while these complexes will help, it may not hurt looking into purchasing a home.

"It may be better and cheaper to buy a house with a mortgage. Mortgage payment which also include typically things like insurance and taxes are actually less expensive than rent that normally include taxes that the landlords are going to pay," said Mr. Evans.

Officials say a healthy vacancy rate is between five and seven percent and they hope to see an increase in the two percent that is facing the area now.

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