Housing Development

The City of Rochester’s Housing Policy (adopted in 2008), calls for the city to engage stakeholders and foster public/private partnerships that improve neighborhoods, create healthy real estate markets, stabilize and enhance the tax base, and provide a broad array of housing options to address the needs of diverse households. Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD)'s Housing Division supports implementation of the Housing Policy through several areas of focus. 

Sustainable Home Ownership 

The Housing Division works to promote sustainable and affordable home ownership in Rochester. Programs include:

Preventing and Addressing Homelessness 

The Housing Division works closely with local homeless service providers, housing providers, and funders to prevent homelessness, rapidly re-house individuals and families who become homeless, and support appropriate services available for individuals and families facing homelessness by:

Affordable Housing Development 

The Housing Division works with developers, rental property owners and managers, as well as community-based organizations to create and sustain affordable, supportive, senior, and mixed-income housing developments in Rochester. The Housing Division coordinates an annual competitive RFP process to provide resources to sustain or create new affordable housing developments. Click here to view the 2021 Housing Development RFP.  However, it is recommended that potential developers of affordable housing reach out to the Housing Division at any time of the year, in advance of the release of the annual RFP, to discuss proposed projects and City resources that may be available.

Click here for examples of recently-completed projects.

 Mixed-Income Housing Development

The Housing Division also facilitates the revitalization of the city of Rochester through redevelopment planning processes, the development of vacant and underutilized property, and the renovation of vacant and underutilized buildings. Starting in 2021, City benefits for mixed-income projects will be subject to a competitive RFP process. Click here to view the 2021 Housing Development RFP. Housing facilitates mixed-income development by:

Providing loan funding for projects: The City can provide gap financing for eligible mixed-use development projects. Typical assistance is no more than 10% of total development costs.

Applying for and administering grants and/or loans from other funding agencies.  The College Town development and the Seneca Building are examples of this. College Town utilized the HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program and returned an underutilized site to a productive use through the creation of a 14-acre district. The College Town project created 154 housing units and 270,000 square feet of hotel, office, and retail space. The Seneca Building received funding through the Community Development Block Grant program. This project, located at the former Midtown site, created a new three-story building comprised of 173,000 square feet of commercial space. The Seneca building is now home to Windstream and the D&C.

Facilitating the City's PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) Process: Click here for the PILOT Application. *To be awarded a Shelter Rent PILOT or JobsPlus-like Special PILOT, you must respond to the annual Housing Development RFP prior to completing the PILOT application*

Other tax incentive programs include:

  • Core Housing Owner Incentive Exemption (CHOICE) - This program offers property tax exemptions for the creation of owner-occupied residential units in the city of Rochester. The exemption applies to the increase in value resulting from the project. The exemption is 90% the first year and declines 10% per year thereafter. For more information about the CHOICE program, click here or contact Anne DaSilva Tella, Assistant Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development at Anne.DaSilvaTella@CityofRochester.Gov.
  • Conversion Urban Exemption (CUE) - This tax incentive program encourages the conversion of underutilized office, retail, manufacturing, and warehouse buildings to residential use. CUE is restricted to mixed-use conversion projects located in the Center City District. This 12-year exemption applies to the increase  in assessed value from the conversion to mixed-use. The exemption is 100% for the first 8 years and declines 20% per year thereafter. A minimum of 25% of space must be developed as residential and the owner must at minimum invest $250,000 in the conversion project. For more information, click here or call the Bureau of Assessment at (585) 428-7721. Click here for the CUE program application.

Upcoming City of Rochester Development Opportunities

On August 2, 2021, Neighborhood and Business Development staff held a developer meeting to discuss upcoming development opportunities in the City of Rochester. Click here for the presentation and here for a replay of the webinar.

 Celebrate City Living – Find a neighborhood to grow in! 

The Housing Division plays an integral role in the community coalition behind Celebrate City Living, an exciting initiative that promotes all the great reasons to live in the City of Rochester and its diverse neighborhoods Learn about how you can Celebrate City Living through its online resource center which includes Neighborhood descriptions, properties for sale and rent,  information on upcoming events, and blog posts –  as well as year-round web presence via social media on Facebook and Instagram (@ccl_roc).

Plans and Studies 

The Housing Division works with community partners and other city staff teams on a variety of housing and neighborhood development studies and plans, some citywide and others within specific neighborhoods.

Related City Pages 

The Housing Division works closely with many other staff teams within Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD), as well as throughout city government. Below are links to some of the teams we work most closely with, as well as to pages closely related to our housing work and neighborhood improvement goals: 


Other Local, State, and National Partner Agencies 

The Housing Division works with a wide variety of individuals and partner organizations to fulfill its mission. Some of our other regular partners include the following local, state, and federal agencies: