Last week, the NYS Department of Homes and Community Renewal hosted a conference in Utica for the six-county Mohawk Valley Region. The conference featured representatives from a number of state agencies that focus on housing and social services. The goal of the day was to introduce participants to various state agencies, inform them about the purpose of each agency, and share how the agencies partner together to serve non-profit and faith-based organizations. These non-profit and faith-based organizations then directly serve their communities.
The day’s theme was Partnerships: creating collaborative partnerships between delivery agencies within each community and from these organizations to the state agencies that are intended to provide the resources necessary for service delivery. The stated end goal of these partnerships is to increase the capacity of local non-profit and faith-based organizations to meet the housing and social service needs of each community.
This collaborative partnership model is what SALT was founded on, and is the underlying strength of SALT’s work. All members of a collaboration are made stronger through partnering.
“Housing anchors communities and lifts people,” according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Yet, enough decent, affordable housing is lacking in the Mohawk Valley Region’s communities. This is especially true in Schoharie County. Prior to the flooding from Irene and Lee, there were housing challenges; the rental stock was reduced even further by the losses from the floods. Therefore, SALT is exploring ways to partner with other organizations to help increase rental housing options for local residents. It is SALT’s vision that future housing will better serve local residents while increasing the opportunities for additional people to move (or return) to the county. Since good housing is vital to the overall economic health of any community, improved housing options are one of the necessary pieces for the successful renewal of Schoharie County.