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Housing help


The City of Rochester formed a land bank to give officials some flexibility in addressing vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent houses in its neighborhoods. But fulfilling that mission requires money. | Enter the state Attorney General's Office, which is taking $20 million from New York's share of a nationwide mortgage lender settlement and distributing it among the state's eight land banks on a competitive basis. Officials with Rochester's land bank have applied for a $3.3 million chunk of the money. | In the application, the officials say that $2.5 million would be used to purchase, rehab, and resell 50 houses. The land bank would acquire the properties and then turn them over to the HOME Rochester program. | HOME Rochester, which is administered by the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership, rehabs homes and sells them to first-time homebuyers at market value. The rehab costs often exceed the sale price. | Approximately $478,000 will be used to build six affordable, owner-occupied houses, according to the application. The rest of the money will cover staff costs, including a full-time employee with expertise in real estate, finance, or property management.