Keith is probably correct in his assumptions about the original development, but It's not just the schools that keep people in Albany. Another factor in the cities plan may have had the goal to create a large enough population base to be self supporting.
As an Albany native I would highly disagree with his blanket description of the houses themselves. The majority of the homes were built in the 1920's although there are a smattering of Victorians and some newer homes. I have been in many homes over the years of my friends, and truthfully i have watched some them be altered in perhaps not always the most desirable of ways.
However, originally, most of the houses had beautiful hardwood floors, fabulous fireplaces and Deco style ceramic tile. When I speak to current residents of Albany, they talk about their lovely homes with pride, and just try to get one to sell!!
Either Craftman style homes appeal to you or they don't, but they are called Craftsman homes for a reason. It's not just the schools that keep people in Albany.