News Release - Buy The Block’s Six Model Homes Completed

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, April 13, 2023) – Mayor Malik D. Evans welcomed members of City Council, City partners, and residents to tour the six model homes recently completed for the City’s Buy The Block program following a ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon. “The Buy The Block program makes good on our commitment to provide opportunities for economic empowerment for every resident, strengthen our most challenged neighborhoods and create a city of hope where each citizen has equal access to a prosperous future,” said Mayor Evans.

“Buy The Block is a small step towards rectifying the injustices of historic redlining that took place in our city. As we build new houses, we raise the value of the homes around them and positively affect the neighborhood while creating opportunities for homeownership—the net effect will be transformational. I am grateful for the support of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and Congressman Joe Morelle, who made this program possible.”

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, “When I fought to include funding for local governments in the American Rescue Plan, it was because I not only wanted to see communities like Rochester recover, but also to thrive for years to come. I applaud Mayor Evans and City Council for using these funds for the Buy the Block program and am proud to help celebrate their progress today. These homes are vital to ensure that families can own high-quality, affordable homes, and to undo the legacy of housing discrimination while creating stability in historically underserved neighborhoods.”

“Too many communities across our state are still living with the consequences of discriminatory housing policies of the past. This is particularly true in Rochester, where underserved communities have been shut out of homeownership and critical opportunities for wealth-building,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I’m grateful for the efforts of Mayor Evans and the City Council to support increased investment in under-resourced neighborhoods and to build a thriving city with the Buy the Block program. I’m proud to have fought for this funding through the American Rescue Plan, and I look forward to seeing more Rochester families achieve homeownership.”

“Innovative programs like Buy the Block allow us to build a more equitable and inclusive Rochester by promoting home ownership in neighborhoods historically segregated by race,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I'm proud to have delivered funding for this transformational investment through the American Rescue Plan because we have a duty to correct the mistakes of the past and give more families the opportunity to build generational wealth. I’m grateful to Mayor Evans for making greenlining a priority for his administration, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

Buy The Block utilizes City-owned vacant lots to build new, high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable, single-family, owner-occupied homes in neighborhoods with a history of disinvestment. In addition to the six model homes recently completed, construction on another cluster of 18 houses will begin in the Northeast, totaling 24 homes by the end of 2023. This phase of Buy The Block focuses on vacant lots between Upper Falls Boulevard and Clifford, North Clinton, and Hudson Avenues. To qualify for a Buy The Block home, first-time homebuyers in the City of Rochester must have household incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income and be able to acquire a mortgage through an approved lender.

The application period for the next round of homes begins today and will end on Wednesday, May 31. Interested and qualified homebuyers can tour model homes this Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16 from 1 – 4 p.m. Visit for more information and to apply or sign up for an informational workshop for prospective buyers.