Local Group Reacts to Rochester's $250,000 Affordable Housing Pledge

January 19, 2018 06:17 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Despite a quarter million dollar donation from the city of Rochester to address the affordable housing issue, a local organization is asking more be done. 
Xenmerrie Estrella, with Communities United for Rochester Empowerment, says she believes the city is just kicking the can down the street. 
"It's really hard for low-income people, for moderate-income people to live in Rochester," said Estrella. 
The mother of three says she's actually disappointed by the city's pledge of $250,000 for affordable housing. 
"It’s not nearly enough. How many houses will that bring up? Two, Three?" said Estrella.  
Steve Borchardt, the housing initiative director, with the Rochester Area Foundation, says the money will go towards the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing.
He described the group as a community collaborate made up of private non-profit agencies, local government, and employers. 
"The key components are the leadership council, which is made up of donors that are able to give big amounts of money. And basically we're telling those donors if you give a quarter of a million dollars or more you can sit on this board and determine how you spend your money,” said Borchardt. 
But CURE doesn't think it's enough.
"We are really very disappointed at the city council because this is, this is all they can do. This is what they're willing to do for the people, for the working people," said Estrella. 
However, the RCA says the issue isn't just for the city council to fix.
“It's not a government problem; it's not a mayo clinic problem. It's our problem. And that's what the coalition does. It gives us a structure to get everybody together on this moving in the same direction," said Borchardt. 
Despite Estrella’s objections, she hopes the city is headed in the "right direction". 
"We’ll see what happens. Nothing has been done yet. It's a pledge. We, we're still waiting for the house to go up you know," said Estrella. 
The leadership council within the coalition will have its first meetings at the end of the month. 
The housing alliance meeting will happen next month.



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