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Oswego County Declares Housing Crisis

Oswego County issues an emergency order declaring the housing crisis in the county and the effect it will have on the local communities. 


October 10, 2023

On Monday, Oswego County issued an emergency order and state of emergency due to the ongoing housing crisis and its effect on local communities. Due to this order, no rental or other vouchers from New York City will be accepted without prior approval from Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup. 

This has been done in response to the New York City plan to place 110,000 homeless people in Upstate New York Counties and assistance programs irrespective of the impact it would have on the local communities. 

However, the city fails to take note of the limited resources such as food, shelter, healthcare, education, and transportation or the pressure it would place on local governments to ensure the health and safety of the residents. 

Oswego County has been a welcoming community but this plan poses a risk to the health and safety of its residents. The local counties are not the answer to the homelessness problem and the key is to find a real solution. 

To work around these orders, New York City announced in September to expand its Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement Program (FHEPS) to provide five years of rental vouchers to residents who agree to relocate to the Upstate New York Counties and Long Island. 

A Special One Time Assistance Voucher Program (SOTA) was also opened to provide a full year’s rent for eligible homeless people. New York City announced plans to discontinue funding for various supports, including social services, medical needs, and educational expenses, for relocated homeless individuals. 

Meanwhile, Oswego County’s HUD Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program has issued 490 active vouchers to assist individuals and families with rent, based on their income. These vouchers remain valid unless the recipient leaves the program. Additionally, 587 individuals or families are on the program’s waitlist for housing in the county, facing a typical wait time of nine to 18 months.

The Department of Social Services has also reported that the total number of people requesting this service is 142 individuals at present which in turn totals 824 people identifying as homeless. Oswego County is also concerned that the rent prices offered by New York City will be higher than the ones paid within the county. 

The applications submitted should include legal names, birth dates, current addresses, or other addresses of every person to be housed at the property. 

New York City is required to be listed as a non-tenant party on leases and must compensate Oswego County for all governmental costs associated with relocated individuals, including social services, education, and various forms of assistance. If New York City plans to relocate more than seven families or individuals to Oswego County in a quarter, city officials must meet with the county’s Department of Social Services and housing officials.

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Oswego County. “Oswego County Issues Emergency Order Related to Housing Crisis”. Oswego County, October 5, 2023, 

Oswego County Issues Emergency Order Related to Housing Crisis

Last Updated: September 20, 2021