HOME Rochester provides low and moderate-income first-time homebuyers an opportunity to own a home. HOME Rochester addresses the blighting influence vacant properties have on Rochester neighborhoods by renovating vacant properties and restoring their vibrancy and beauty.
HOME Rochester has operated in the City of Rochester since 2002. During this timeframe, more than 800 vacant homes have been rehabilitated and sold to first-time homebuyers. In partnership with the City of Rochester, Rochester Landbank Corporation, financial institutions, funders, and community partners, HOME Rochester uses a three-pronged approach (Acquire, Rehabilitate, Sell) to provide affordable homeownership housing and revitalize Rochester neighborhoods. HOME Rochester houses are available throughout City of Rochester neighborhoods. The program often addresses the one blighting influence on a block but, in some instances, multiple properties on the same street are addressed.
HOME Rochester houses carry a 15-year affordability period (homebuyers agree to live in their houses for 15 years). This program requirement ensures that the investment made to rehabilitate a HOME Rochester property results in affordable housing that is sustainable for at least 15 years. This residency requirement also ensures these homes remain owner-occupied for at least 15 years which in turn helps with neighborhood stability.
HOME Rochester properties are sold at prices that are affordable to low and moderate-income homebuyers and that are in line with comparable values of similar neighborhood properties. HOME Rochester houses are rehabilitated to a very high standard with the goal of providing low and moderate-income homebuyers with an affordable home that does not require major upgrades by the homeowner for several years. HOME Rochester integrates energy efficiency standards to help keep utility costs down for buyers.
Homebuyers must be able to qualify for a conventional, fixed rate mortgage and contribute a minimum of $1,500 of their own money toward the purchase of the home. HOME Rochester buyers are qualified, and eligible for down payment and closing cost assistance, through the City of Rochester.
RHDFC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The HOME Rochester Program is governed by the Board of Directors of the Rochester Housing Development Fund Corporation (RHDFC). The RHDFC is a designated Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) and, as such, contains membership representative of the low and moderate-income communities the HOME Rochester Program is designed to serve. As a CHDO, the RHDFC also has a formal process for gathering input about the HOME Rochester Program from low and moderate-income individuals including those who have participated in the program.
Joan Dallis, RHDFC Board President
Gerard D. DiMarco, Esq.
Fiona Wolfe, Esq.
BENEFITS OF OWNING A HOME ROCHESTER HOME:
Each HOME Rochester home is rehabilitated using Lead Safe Work Practices. All homes receive a lead clearance test to certify the home meets current lead safe standards. All homebuyers receive a copy of the lead clearance test at closing.
All HOME Rochester homes carry a one-year warranty on major mechanical systems (heating, plumbing), replaced roofs, electrical systems and window and door hardware. The warranty does not cover problems caused by the homeowner, vandalism, Act of God or normal wear and tear, or wet or damp basements.
Homebuyers are required to contribute $1,500 of equity toward the purchase of their home ($1,000 is due when a purchase offer is signed and an additional $500 is due at closing). In addition to required buyer equity, HOME Rochester buyers are eligible to receive down payment and closing cost assistance grants through the City of Rochester’s Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). Several participating mortgage providers also offer down payment and closing cost grants for HOME Rochester buyers.
HOME Rochester homes are rehabilitated using “Green Standards.” This means recycled, sustainable and non-toxic materials are used to rehab HOME Rochester properties. Low-emission paints, recycled carpeting and high efficiency major mechanical systems are also used in HOME Rochester properties.
Owning your own home allows you to decorate as you see fit. You can paint the walls hot pink with lime green trim if you want to (not that we recommend it). You can garden to your heart’s content, put in a patio or pool. You own it – not a landlord, not a relative. You are a homeowner and that’s something to take pride in.