In the city of Albany, especially downtown, you’ve probably noticed a lot of boarded up houses with a big red x square attached to the front.

Well in the near future you can see the numbers of these decline thanks to a $1 million dollar grant awarded to the City of Albany for housing and code enforcement. The grant is part of the Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement (Cities RISE) program, which aims to address those vacant and poorly maintained properties you see around the city.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said “for Albany, the funding will help provide resources and education to improve landlord/tenant relationships, assist elderly homeowners with estate planning and create opportunities for residents to become homeowners if they are willing to maintain vacant properties.”

It’s no secret that New York has a housing crisis, especially when it comes to affordable housing. People from the city aren’t the only ones struggling, right here in the Capital District folks are losing their homes due to foreclosure and not being able to keep up with the expenses of owning a home. This program sounds like it will be a great fit for those who have struggled since the housing crisis, and beautify the city with more affordable homes to live in for our community.