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Binghamton City Council approves $2 million in funding for affordable housing project

Rob Muchnick, president of Long Island-based developer The Metro Group, joined Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham to announce the project last month.
Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo
Rob Muchnick, president of the Metro Group, a Long Island-based developer, joined Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham to announce the project last month.

The Binghamton City Council voted Wednesday to allocate $2.2 million in federal COVID-relief funding for a 100-unit, affordable housing project in the city’s First Ward neighborhood.

Mayor Jared Kraham announced the project last month. The $40 million housing development would be located at 187 Clinton Street. The vacant lot was previously a Broome County Department of Motor Vehicles office before it was demolished.

The council voted unanimously to pass the resolution, with one member absent.

“We need the housing. And the one-bedroom apartments will be $800 a month, which is very good. It'll be very good for the ward, it'll be very good for Clinton Street,” Councilman Joe Burns said.

The council held over the resolution during its last meeting. Some council members initially had concerns about using federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to pay for the project.

Some members of the council expressed concern over the developer, Metro Group, which is based on Long Island. They also questioned whether the rent of the units would meet the local need for affordable housing.

“This project does speak to the median-level income earners, and it does address the lower [area median income] percentages as well,” said Councilwoman Angela Riley. “But as I stated before, we have a greater need in the lower subset, the lower percentages, in terms of housing need.”

Metro Group said rent would be between $700 and $1000 a month, depending on the tenant’s income.

Construction is expected to begin in 2025.