Rochester land bank gets state money


The state Attorney General's Office has awarded Rochester's land bank $2.78 million, which the city will use to acquire and rehabilitate houses over the next two years.

Over the summer, the AG's Office said it was making $20 million from the state's share of a national mortgage settlement available to New York land banks. In September, the Rochester Land Bank Corporation submitted an application seeking $3.3 million, which it planned to use for the purchase, rehab, and resale of 50 homes through the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership's HOME Rochester program. The program rehabs houses and sells them to first-time homebuyers at market value.

The land bank also planned to use some of the money to cover staff costs, including a full-time real estate specialist. (For now, the land bank is staffed by current city employees.)

The AG's Office announced the awards yesterday. A fact sheet for the Rochester land bank says that the $2.78 million award will fund the full-time staff and its 50-house plan. The city's application also sought funding for some new construction, but the AG's fact sheet doesn't mention that.

The fact sheet does says that the investment will be matched by $3.7 million in private financing and $2.3 million in city and state subsidies. All new construction will meet national green building standards for energy efficiency.