Building Houses, Building Hope
|FCHH Rehab - 43 Thomas Street.
|Homeowner Kharlene Williams and family.
Flower City Habitat for Humanity works to revitalize inner city neighborhoods one house at a time, by building on some of the city's most deteriorated streets. We make home ownership a reality for low-income, working families who would not otherwise qualify for a home mortgage. We believe that home ownership is one of the keys to strong families and to communities that are safe and stable.
In cooperation with the City of Rochester, Flower City Habitat for Humanity acquires vacant lots in neighborhoods challenged by crime, absentee landlords, abandoned properties and substandard housing. FCHH builds 10-12 houses each year. Our building capacity depends on house sponsorships and fundraising.
Habitat homeowners are stable and their children do not change schools as frequently as do many low-income renters. This contrasts with data from the JOSANA neighborhood where 43 percent of renters rent their homes for less than 1 year. Remarkably, 97 percent of children of Habitat homeowners graduate from high school and attend trade school or an institution of higher education. Of those who do not graduate, data indicate that the drop-out rate is 46 percent lower in children of Habitat homeowners than those in similar geographies (8.3% vs. 13.5%). Of those who drop-out, Habitat children are more likely to pursue a GED than youth from non-Habitat homes.
Since its founding in 1984, Flower City Habitat for Humanity has built or rehabilitated 180 homes, most of which were built in the last fifteen years and most built in Rochester's "Crescent of Poverty”. These homes have added $5.6 million to the city's tax base and during the same period over $1.2 million have been paid in property taxes. Every 11 new Habitat homes add over $500,000 to the tax base annually.
A study funded by the George and Anne Fisher Foundation
Most people understand how valuable our work is, but until now, we've had no concrete evidence with which to document Habitat's impact on families and neighborhoods.
The findings of a study funded by the George and Anne Fisher Foundation, enable us to demonstrate quantitatively that inner city families thrive in their own homes and Habitat homes and homeowners improve our community.
Habitat homes have significantly impacted neighborhood stability and well-being. Habitat homes are assessed at more than twice the average city home on the same street ($44,161 vs. $21,547) and non-Habitat homes on a Habitat Street will be assessed at least eight percent higher than homes on the next nearest streets. Habitat families add stability to neighborhoods, with ninety-seven perfect of Habitat homeowners still in their original Habitat home. Forty percent of Habitat owners participate in some kind of neighborhood watch program and seventy-five percent donate their time to churches or community centers.
Invest in Success
Building over 190 homes has already made a difference, but we could do so much more with additional resources. A gift to Flower City Habitat for Humanity is an investment in the health and well-being of a family, a neighborhood and our community.
The single greatest barrier to completing more homes each year is lack of funding.
How can you help?
Businesses and Organizations:
- Join other congregations to sponsor a house.
- Include Habitat in your outreach budget.