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About Nate

Nate Hotchkiss

Hello! I’m Nate Hotchkiss and I’m running for City Council in Binghamton’s 4th District.

Over the last two years, I’ve been deeply involved with housing issues and tenant organizing on the local, state, and national levels. Through these experiences, I’ve become intimately familiar with every way that the housing crisis affects our neighbors both in Binghamton and across the state and the country. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work with brilliant people and see innovative and practical solutions to the many challenges communities are facing around housing.

I cannot emphasize this enough: safe, affordable, quality housing is absolutely fundamental to the integrity, sustainability, and progress of our community in Binghamton. Housing is deeply interconnected with the many other challenges that we currently face.

Unstable housing adversely impacts the educational outcomes of area youth. In the 2021-2022 academic year, over 170 students in Binghamton City School District experienced homelessness. At least 80 or more are currently homeless and the last reported student mobility rate was 40%, which means that 40% of enrolled students move at least once throughout the school year. The number is so alarmingly high that they don’t report it anymore. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to recognize how the housing crisis is currently affecting educational outcomes in Binghamton. Students that are constantly moving and switching curricula or stuck in survival mode don’t have room to consider their academic success. When we meaningfully address the housing crisis we improve our educational outcomes.

When tenants are forced to live in substandard housing riddled with mold, mildew, and pests of all varieties, this directly affects their health. When children are exposed to unabated lead paint in their homes they can suffer permanent development growth and behavioral problems. Poorly maintained properties are riddled with risks of injury that continue to erode our public health. Further, if you do not have a safe, healthy home, the time it takes to recover from illness or an operation is extended and your chance of recovery is reduced. When we meaningfully address the housing crisis we improve our public health.

When tenants are put under extreme financial stress by increasing rent prices and lack of affordable housing options this takes a toll on their mental health. When tenants are forced to deal with unscrupulous landlords who unlawfully shut off necessary utilities through negligence or intentional self-help eviction attempts, this creates more strain on their mental wellbeing. All of this becomes compounded when the appropriate enforcement agencies around these issues are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary relief to tenants. When we meaningfully address the housing crisis we improve mental health.

Unstable housing impacts our economy. When people don’t have a stable place to live, they cannot seek work or maintain a job. Without a permanent mailing address, it's highly unlikely that those in need are able to receive any type of assistance at all to get them to a place where they could be seeking employment. Additionally, we are further hindered when businesses will not move to Binghamton due to the lack of quality housing. When we meaningfully address the housing crisis we will improve economic opportunities.

 

If we do not implement meaningful policies and strategies to address the current housing conditions in Binghamton, the area will not make ground on the many challenges we currently face. In the coming months, I will share the several policy proposals I will push for in City Council all related to housing, ultimately, creating a Comprehensive Housing Strategy for the City of Binghamton.

If this sounds like something you want to see in Binghamton, I welcome you to support my campaign for City Council!

Read more here

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