Buy the Block - Greenlining for a Better Rochester

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Supporting homeownership in formerly redlined neighborhoods

Some neighborhoods in the City of Rochester have experienced a long history of disinvestment, resulting in deep and ongoing challenges. Today, focused programs like Buy The Block are working to strengthen these neighborhoods by generating investment and creating excitement.

Buy The Block supports current and new homeowners by investing in high-quality, affordable, owner-occupied houses, in which homeowners spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

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The program includes the following initiatives:

  • Building new, single-family, high-quality homes for qualified residents to purchase with affordable mortgages, with an overall goal of building up to 100 new homes in under-invested areas of the City;
  • Assisting current homeowners in implementing home improvements through grants and free consultation, including roofing and exterior façade repairs on their properties; and
  • Additional resources to strengthen Rochester city neighborhoods.

The first phase of Buy The Block is focused on properties in Northeast Rochester, between Upper Falls Boulevard and Clifford, Clinton, and Hudson Avenues. The application period for the first six homes ended on November 15, 2022. However, if you did not make the deadline, there will be 18 more homes built in 2023 - email to be notified when the application reopens!


Workshop and Events

Homeownership Readiness Workshops with the Rochester Financial Empowerment Center
Are you ready to purchase a home? Come learn how the Rochester Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) can help you achieve your homeownership and financial goals! This workshop will prepare you for Buy the Block and other homeownership opportunities, covering topics like improving your credit and building your savings. You can also sign up for free one-one-one counseling with the FEC after the workshop. There are two opportunities to join us, virtually or in-person:

Registration for workshops is recommended. All are welcome!

Model Home Building & New Home Tours: Fall/Winter 2022

The City of Rochester has partnered with Greater Rochester Housing Partnership (developer), Atlas Contractors LLC (builder), and Ibero American Development Corporation to construct and sell affordable, single-family homes on currently vacant, City-owned parcels. 

 Starting inFall 2022, the team’s began building six different model homes on City-owned lots at 14, 22, 30, 38, and 56 Thomas St. and 101 Weeger St.






Sq. Ft.

Sale Price

The Norton

       En Español 

Accessible Ranch



Slab on grade



The Clifford

En Español 

Accessible Ranch



Slab on grade



The Portland

En Español 




Full basement



The Woodward

En Español 




Full basement



The Durand

En Español 




Full basement



The Ellison

En Español 




Full basement



The diverse floor plans address a range of needs, including extra storage space for larger households and those with children; single-story homes for aging in place and/or mobility concerns; and accommodations for those with special needs. The homes will be Energy Star 3.0 certified and will include all-electric heat pump heating and cooling systems.

Applications for the first six homes closed on November 15, 2022. However, if you missed out on the first six homes, you haven't missed out on Buy the Block! In 2023 up to 18 additional new homes will be built, based on demand from qualified buyers.



 Buyers must be first-time homebuyers with household incomes at or below 80% Area Median Income:

Household Size

80% Median Income Limit

1 person


2 people


3 people


4 people


5 people


6 people


7 people


8 people


Buyer eligibility is ultimately determined by the City of Rochester Homebuyer Services staff. A list of required documents that are used to determine eligibility is included in the application.

Applicants must agree to live in the home as their principal residence for at least 15 years. If the homeowner sells within that 15-year period, they must sell their home to another income-qualified owner-occupant who agrees to live in the home for the remainder of the 15 years. Any buyer within that 15-year period must be approved as income-eligible by the City of Rochester prior to entering into a purchase contract. All Buy The Block new homes are restricted to owner-occupancy for 30 years.

If a qualified applicant misses the Nov. 15, 2022 deadline, they will be able to submit an application in 2023 to be included in the process for homes built in 2023. If you are interested in being notified when the application opens for the next 18 homes, please email with your name, email address, and phone number.


Application Process

Application Button

Home Improvement Grants for Current Homeowners

Applications for home improvement support for current homeowners in the neighborhood between Upper Falls Boulevard and Clifford, Clinton and Hudson Avenues will be available in the future. Watch here for updates!  

Buy The Block FAQs

Q: Who qualifies for new home buying?
A: Applicants must be income-qualified, first-time homebuyers who agree to live in the home as their principal residence for at least 15 years. Income-qualified buyers have household incomes at or below 80% of Area Median Income. See details here >>

Q: How do I apply to purchase a new home?
A: The application for the first six model homes closed on November 15th, but applications for the next 18 homes will reopen in 2023! The timeline and process for the first six homes  through the Buy The Block program can be found here >>

Q: How is the City of Rochester paying for the Buy The Block investments?

A: The first phase of Buy the Block is supported by $13.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The City of Rochester will work with development partners to identify and apply for additional funding sources for future phases of Buy The Block.