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Rochester Coalition Seeks Funds, Solutions to Affordable Housing Obstacles

January 17, 2019 05:52 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Steve Borchardt, with the Rochester Coalition for Affordable Housing, hopes the organization can make a difference for people struggling to afford housing.

"We've learned that if a family has an income of roughly less than $65,000 a year, they are going to have a difficult time finding a place to purchase," hesaid. "If they have an income of less than $50,000 a year, it's going to be difficult to find a place to rent."

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The coalition hopes to raise $6 million to put toward affordable housing. They've raised $4.6 million so far; $4 million from Mayo Clinic.

The money will be distributed to projects in the city aimed at helping both renters and homeowners.

"For generations, low and middle income families have been able to build wealth through home ownership," he said. "If we don't create a product they can purchase and invest in when they're young, I don't know what their future will look like when they're able to retire."

They are working with local builders to develop a less expensive house; it would be smaller, but more affordable.

And for renters, they're looking to older buildings left vacant due to new developments.

"The challenge is to make the resources available to these landlords to keep the properties up to date, so they continue to be attractive, safe, secure, quality places for our low and middle income population," said Borchardt.

The coalition has no plans to run the projects; instead, their goal is simply to raise and distribute funds. A non-profit to oversee the programs is in the mix.

For now, the focus is on getting the funds.

"My job is about more than fundraising," Borchardt said. "It's about changing a culture. We can no longer take for granted that just because you work, the housing industry can find a product suitable to your income. It can't."

Credits

Talia Milavetz

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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