Rochester’s Housing Quality Task Force delivers final recommendations

New York Construction Report staff writer

The City of Rochester’s Housing Quality Task Force has delivered its final report with 16 recommendations across five topics: code enforcement; facilitating responsible ownership through the City’s Land Bank, foreclosures, and a building registry; repair and improvement programs; increasing the supply of quality housing; and improving communication and education.

“Our task force discussions were lively, and generated ideas that fueled our recommendations, as well as topics with significant merit that did not fit our charter,” said Task Force Co-Chair and RMAPI Executive Director Aqua Porter.

“So, while the mayor moves some of the initiatives forward at City Hall, we have captured the additional topics, and will work to ensure other community stakeholders continue those conversations and move other important efforts forward.”

The 21-member task force included a broad spectrum of subject-matter experts, who worked together for 19 weeks to compile recommendations focused on housing quality that City Hall could implement in the short- and immediate-terms.

At a news conference, Mayor Malik Evans presented the16 recommendations across five topics: code enforcement; facilitating responsible ownership through the City’s Land Bank, foreclosures, and a building registry; repair and improvement programs; increasing the supply of quality housing; and improving communication and education.

On the issue of increasing supply of quality housing, the taskforce says the city shoul:

Provide incentives for new construction and substantial rehab to generate new units for homeownership. Provide subsidy for developers who build new construction or rehab an existing vacant property in formerly redlined areas.

Encourage the expansion of high quality residential and mixed-use housing supply – both income-qualified and market rate – by implementing the Zoning Alignment Project (ZAP) in accordance with the Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan, to expand housing choices across the city and focus density along transit corridors.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the Housing Quality Task Force for their dedication and commitment to the process,” said Mayor Evans. “I fully embrace these recommendations and am already moving forward assigning tasks to City teams, who will define milestones and begin implementation immediately.”

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