Attorney General James Grants $850,000 To Rochester For Affordable Housing

Attorney General James Grants $850,000
to Rochester for Affordable Housing

Grant Will Support Community Land Trusts

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ROCHESTER — New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that the City of Rochester received a grant of $850,000 in the second round of the “Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative,” which acquires and renovates distressed properties, provides training and technical assistance to homeowners, and creates permanent affordable housing for the benefit of low- and middle-income families.

“This initiative is aligned with one of our top priorities: to address the affordable housing crisis and challenge in the State of New York,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “This grant goes a long way towards helping Rochester partner with a community-based organization to meet its local housing needs, including dealing with vacancy and blighted infrastructures and to ensure community stewardship of land.”

The grant provided is a continuation of the 2017 Community Land Trust (CLT) Initiative, a program created by the Office of the New York Attorney General and Enterprise Community Partners to support the formation of six community land trusts in the state. This program also led to the creation of a CLT Learning Exchange comprised of nine community-based organizations, to address housing challenges, especially vacancy and blight, and to develop and promote new models of community ownership of affordable housing and community spaces.

“Enterprise is excited to provide this second round of funding to catalyze new Community Land Trusts and strengthen existing ones,” said Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and New York Market Leader Judi Kende. “CLTs give neighborhood residents the power to decrease displacement, ensure permanent affordability, and, most importantly, make decisions about development in their own communities. This round of funding will deepen that work by supporting even more CLTs and expanding opportunities for local stakeholders to play an active role in revitalizing and preserving communities across New York.”

This year, the funds will benefit the City Roots Community Land Trust of Rochester that plans to work with the Rochester Land Bank Corporation to purchase and renovate up to 10 properties. Subsequently, low- and moderate-income families will be able to buy or rent these decent and suitable homes, as permanent affordable housing. City Roots CLT will also assume ownership of 96 affordable rental units to ensure permanent affordability.

“I want to commend Attorney General James for her visionary investments in the Community Land Trust Initiative,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “This funding will allow Rochester’s City Roots Community Land Trust to strengthen its partnership with the Rochester Land Bank to increase our inventory of affordable housing options for Rochester residents. Thanks to the support of Attorney General James, we are making great progress in our efforts to provide more city residents with access to safe, quality, and affordable housing, which helps us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities.”

"This initiative represents a much needed investment in deeply affordable, community-led housing,” said City Roots Community Land Trust President Joe Di Fiore. “City Roots CLT is thrilled to be working with Enterprise Community Partners and partnering with the City of Rochester to secure permanently affordable housing options and development without displacement in our neighborhoods. We would like to extend our thanks to the members of the New York State Attorney General’s Office for their recognition of the importance and necessity of community land trusts."

Enterprise Community Partners released a report on the impact of the first round of the Community Land Trust Initiative. Enterprise was able to leverage the initial grants into a $63 million investment for permanent affordable housing in NYC, Long Island, and Albany. The first round of the program resulted in the creation of 70 buildings or homes, 453 permanently affordable housing units, and 34 new positions or jobs.

The program also reserves $200,000 if the grantees need additional funding before the two-year program is complete.