Mayor announces initiative to turn vacant homes into affordable housing

August 02, 2018 06:05 PM

For years News10NBC has been reporting on the serious 'zombie' home problem here in the Rochester area.  

These unsightly homes attract crime and rodents. They also decrease the value of neighboring properties.  


On Thursday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced the Neighbors for Neighbors program.

Through the Rochester Land Bank Corporation, the program allows residents to buy a vacant home, receive a subsidy to fix it up, then rent it at an affordable rate.  

The mayor made the announcement in front of a home in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood that has been vacant since 2005. That home was purchased by Cynthia Silver who lives in the neighborhood.  

There's no database for 'zombie' homes in Monroe County.Three years ago, the number was about 3,200. 

"This is very, very exciting to see someone like Cynthia, who lives in the community, be able to renovate this home and rent it out to two families that need affordable housing," said Mayor Warren. 

"Having grown up in poverty, and lived in many non-quality homes, it's close to my heart," said Silver. "This is a quality neighborhood and it's quality because of who we are. We have so many interesting people who live here, who bring so much to the table."

Anyone purchasing homes through the Neighbors for Neighbors program must agree to rent them to families who make less than 80-percent of the average median income. Renters will not pay more than 30-percent of their income in rent.  


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