The City of Rochester has now finished six of the model homes in the Buy the Block program.
Mayor Malik D. Evans along with members of City Council, City partners, and residents toured the model homes recently completed for the program.
“The Buy The Block program makes good on our commitment to provide opportunities for economic empowerment for every resident, strengthen our most challenged neighborhoods and create a city of hope where each citizen has equal access to a prosperous future,” said Evans.
“Buy The Block is a small step towards rectifying the injustices of historic redlining that took place in our city. As we build new houses, we raise the value of the homes around them and positively affect the neighborhood while creating opportunities for homeownership—the net effect will be transformational.”
The program Buy The Block uses City-owned vacant lots to build new, high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable, single-family, owner-occupied homes in neighborhoods with a history of disinvestment.
Along with the six model homes completed recently, there will be construction done on another cluster of 18 houses that will begin in the Northeast. There will be a total of 24 homes by the end of 2023.
This first phase of Buy The Block centers on vacant lots between Upper Falls Boulevard and Clifford, North Clinton and Hudson Avenues.
“Too many communities across our state are still living with the consequences of discriminatory housing policies of the past. This is particularly true in Rochester, where underserved communities have been shut out of homeownership and critical opportunities for wealth-building,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
She said she is grateful for the efforts of Mayor Evans and the City Council supporting increased investment in under-resourced neighborhoods and to build a thriving city. “I look forward to seeing more Rochester families achieve homeownership,” said Gillibrand.
“These homes are vital to ensure that families can own high-quality, affordable homes and to undo the legacy of housing discrimination while creating stability in historically underserved neighborhoods,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. Schumer said when he fought to include funding for local governments in the American Rescue Plan to see communities like Rochester recover, but also to thrive for years to come.
To qualify for a Buy The Block home, first-time homebuyers in the City of Rochester must have household incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income and be able to acquire a mortgage through an approved lender.
The application period for the next round of homes begins today and will end on Wednesday, May 31. Interested and qualified homebuyers can tour model homes this Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16 from 1 – 4 p.m.
“Innovative programs like Buy the Block allow us to build a more equitable and inclusive Rochester by promoting home ownership in neighborhoods historically segregated by race,” Congressman Joe Morelle said.
Morelle said congress “has a duty to correct the mistakes of the past and give more families the opportunity to build generational wealth.”
Visit www.cityofrochester.gov/BuyTheBlock for more information and to apply or sign up for an informational workshop for prospective buyers.