Buy the Block - Greenlining for a Better Rochester

Creating homeownership in formerly "redlined" neighborhoods.

The first phase will uplift and strengthen the neighborhood between Clifford, Clinton, and Hudson Avenues, and Upper Falls Boulevard. 

The program consists of three distinct initiatives: 

  • Building new, single-family, high-quality homes for qualified city residents to purchase with affordable mortgages;
  • Assisting homeowners in the neighborhood, through grants and free consultation, to implement home improvements including roofing and exterior façade repairs on existing properties; and
  • Supporting owners of mixed-use properties in the neighborhood, including buildings with first-floor retail and upper housing units, to make similar exterior improvements.

In the first phase of the project, which will span from 2022 through 2024, the City will spearhead the building of up to 24 single-family, high-quality homes on vacant, City-owned lots. Buyers will have the opportunity to choose from six model homes to meet the needs of diverse households. Overall, the goal of the Buy the Block program is to build 100 homes in under-invested areas of the City.

The estimated sales prices for the homes range from $89,000 - $139,000. The housing costs are on a sliding scale so that the buyer spends no more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Phase One: build six to 24 new homes

Pending City Council approval in May, the City has selected the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership as the developer who will work in tandem with Atlas Contractors, LLC, Ibero American Development Corporation, and Howard Hanna’s Garcia Team to construct up to 24 single-family homes on vacant city-owned parcels for the program. Council will take up legislation on this selection May 10.

Timeline:  

  • Summer 2022 – application process opens
  • Fall 2022 – completion of six model homes
  • 2023 – building of up to 18 additional homes for qualified homebuyers

Home model designs:  

  •  1,033 sq. ft. 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom one-story home
  •  1,365 sq. ft. 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom one-story home
  •  1,357 sq. ft. 3-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom two-story home
  •  1,534 sq. ft. 4-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom two-story home
  •  1,676 sq. ft. 3-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom two-story home
  •  1,729 sq. ft. 4-bedroom 2.5 bathroom two-story home 

Each home design is Energy Star Certified with storage space for larger households, single occupancy for aging in place and/or mobility concerns, as well as families who have children with special needs

Sales Prices  

  • Buy the Block is supported by $13.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
  • Estimated home sale prices: $89,000 - $139,000

Eligible homebuyers:  

  • Will select one of the model home designs and property location
  • Must be at or below 60 – 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI)
  • Will be required to live in their new home for at least 10 years

To Apply 

  • The homebuyer application process will begin in late 2022
  • The City will confirm eligibility and enroll all qualified applicants into a random-selection lottery
  • Selected homebuyers will be automatically entered into the city’s Home Purchase Assistance Program, which will provide them with a $3,000 grant to cover down payment and closing costs
  • Greater Rochester Housing Partnership (GRHP) will be applying for additional funding sources for the additional housing to be built in 2023.

Applications for home improvement support are currently being accepted: Contact Northeast Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center Administrator John McMahon at John.McMahon@CityofRochester.gov/