New program aims to turn Rochester zombie homes into affordable housing

Mayor Lovely Warren announced the new Neighbors for Neighbors program that would help turn vacant homes into affordable housing. (WHAM photo)

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced a new initiative that aims to turn vacant homes into affordable housing.

The new Neighbors for Neighbors program will allow people to buy a so-called zombie home, receive a subsidy to renovate it, and then rent it out at an affordable rate.

“The Neighbors for Neighbors program really is a win-win for our community,” Mayor Warren said. "By helping our families find a roof over their head, we are also helping them access jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, better educational opportunities and most importantly a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

The buyers must agree to rent the property to families who make less than 80 percent of the average median income. Those renters will pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent.

The program will be administered through the Rochester Land Bank Corporation.

It will be funded through a state grant.

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