Habitat for Humanity in Monroe, Ontario, Wayne counties to merge
Will become Greater Rochester Habitat for Humanity
By: Andrea Deckert October 19, 2022
Flower City Habitat in Rochester, Ontario County Habitat in Canandaigua and Wayne County Habitat in Newark will join forces under the new name of Greater Rochester Habitat for Humanity in January.
The merger will make the local affiliate the second largest by production in New York and place it among the top 40 affiliates across the United States.
With the merger, the organization will be able to continue to serve low-to-moderate income families from Rochester to Geneva, as well as those in other communities in the three-county area.
Following completion of the merger, Matthew J. Flanigan will serve as the president and CEO of the combined entity. He currently leaders Flower City Habitat for Humanity.
Flanigan said the three entities — with a combined 100-plus years of experience — will have a unique opportunity to serve more families in need of affordable housing with new homes and rehabs of existing homes, as well as critical repairs, to help owners remain in their homes.
“We will be able to deliver upon our mission to serve families with safe, decent housing they can afford in a new, unified service area,” Flanigan said.
In addition to Flanigan, Nash Bock will serve as chief business and innovation officer and JJ Cotter will serve as vice president of programs.
Bock and Cotter will continue in their roles as executive directors of Ontario County Habitat and Wayne County Habitat, respectively, until the legal consolidation on Jan. 2.
Flower City Habitat was founded in 1984, Wayne County began in 1988 and Ontario County was established in 1990.
Combined, the organizations have served nearly 350 area families with new homes, rehabilitated homes and needed repairs.
In 2021, the three entities reported collectively that:
Cotter noted that the families the organizations have served will continue to be the focus.
“By combining our resources, we are confident we will expand not only the number of families we assist but enhance the breadth and quality of the programs we offer – from financial counseling to aging in place resources,” she said.
The news of the merger comes as Flower City Habitat for Humanity makes some changes of its own, adding new positions to reflect the growth the organization has experienced over the past year. Those positions will remain intact after the merger goes into effect.
The new positions include a chief operating officer and senior vice president of major gifts and planned giving.
Tim Guillemette was named chief operating officer, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization. He previously served as Flower City Habitat for Humanity’s director of family services.
Ethel Duble is the senior vice president of major gifts and planned giving. She previously served as the organization’s development and marketing director.
In her new role, Duble will focus on long-term goals that will contribute to the organization’s future financial stability.
Additionally, Flanigan was recently selected to serve on the U.S. Council of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established by its board of directors to serve as the planning and policy recommending body to guide the growth of Habitat for Humanity’s work in the United States.
In the role, Flanigan advises Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford, other senior staff and the International Board of Directors on the direction and priorities of U.S. programs.
Flower City Habitat for Humanity has grown largely through its collaborations with other organizations, Flanigan noted.
It has been a major contributor in the JOSANA Neighborhood revitalization project by partnering with the city of Rochester to build 100 homes to date, all within one-half mile of Enrico Fermi School 17.
The work is part of the JOSANA Neighborhood Master Plan that includes the development of neighborhood associations, business investments and public space beautification projects.
Currently, the organization is in the process of planning additional neighborhood revitalization projects that will help strengthen the communities of Beechwood and Emma in partnership with Connected Communities.
“All of our efforts are focused on the heart of what we do … to ensure everyone has a decent place to live,” Flanigan said.
The Builders Exchange of Rochester and Flower City Habitat Continue Build at Saxton Street with New Community Support
Assemblymember Demond Meeks and the Catholic Charities YouthBuild join build effort.
On Friday, July 15th, Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH) and The Builders Exchange of Rochester (ROBEX) gathered at 226 Saxton Street, Rochester, NY to continue a build with some added community support. Assemblymember Demond Meeks (137) and the Catholic Charities YouthBuild were onsite aiding in the construction of a home for a local family in need. With this added support, this build has new levels of community coming together.
Assemblymember Demond Meeks shared “I am elated to be a part of the incredible work being done on Saxton Street. By providing safe and reliable homes to low-income families, we create an opportunity to build generational wealth and to escape the cycle of poverty. Affordable housing developments like these are essential for bringing support and resources to our families and individuals throughout the city of Rochester. I want to thank Flower City Habitat for Humanity for their dedication to the families of our community” about the experience.
The build, which marks the second partnership between FCHH and ROBEX, began September 2021, when both parties came together to break ground at 226 Saxton St. FCHH and ROBEX have gathered the Rochester building community over the past year to support a deserving homeowner as they work toward achieving the “American Dream” of homeownership. In this partnership, they will be building a home to be earned by a local family through sweat-equity and an affordable mortgage.
Additionally, FCHH and ROBEX hope to bring awareness of the viability of a career in the construction trades, by using the site as a training ground for high school students and job seekers interested in pursuing a career in this industry as the build continues. The build is completely supported by ROBEX and their construction industry members, who are donating time, funding, and materials to make this specific build possible. Completion of the home and dedication ceremony are anticipated in early fall of this year.
Flower City Habitat for Humanity CEO, Matthew J. Flanigan stated “We (FCHH) would like to thank Assemblymember Meeks for joining us on this particularly special build day, working with young people, building a Habitat home across the street from the high school he graduated from. The work that the Assemblymember and YouthBuild members completed today takes us one step closer to another brand new Habitat home and another stable homeowner in the JOSANA Neighborhood.”
Builders Exchange of Rochester CEO Kim Gaylord added “The Builders Exchange of Rochester is proud to rally the generosity of the local construction industry to give back to the community through our support of Flower City Habitat for Humanity and the YouthBuild workforce development program. Habitat homeownership and good paying jobs in the construction trades are both great ways to build economic stability in Rochester.”
Thank you to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, NYS Assemblymember Demond Meeks, and all the other volunteers and supporters who joined us in-person and online to celebrate the completion of our 250th house!
This milestone build, located on Campbell Street, was made possible through a longstanding partnership with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and their dedication to investing in housing and building a stronger, healthier community.
Congratulations to the Homebuyer for all the work put in to get to this point and thank you for partnering with us to achieve your goal of homeownership!
Check out photos below!
JOSANA Neighborhood: Spectrum News journalist Andrew Freeman recently spoke with several residents in JOSANA to hear how homeownership has improved their neighborhood.
The interview includes kids who have grown up in the neighborhood, the Director of the Tyshaun Cauldwell R-Center for Hope, and Natasha, the new owner of the 100th Habitat home in the area!
We are thrilled to announce that Flower City Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity International and 83 affiliates have received a transformational $436M gift from MacKenzie Scott!
Flower City Habitat will use $3.75M gift to address affordable housing shortage in Rochester.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (March 22, 2022) – Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH), along with Habitat for Humanity International, and 83 U.S. Habitat affiliate organizations, has been selected to receive $436 million in unrestricted giving from American Author and Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Of that, Flower City Habitat for Humanity received $3.75 million. This transformational donation will substantially help further Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has equitable access to a safe, decent and affordable place to call home.
“We are extremely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime gift from MacKenzie Scott,” said Matthew J. Flanigan, CEO & President of FCHH. “As we all know, there is a significant need for affordable housing in the City of Rochester and this generous donation will allow FCHH to provide a greater number of families with the opportunity for affordable homeownership in alignment with our mission of building homeownership, communities, and hope.”
Flower City Habitat’s initial plans for the funding include greater support of initiatives and programs that help city residents build stability, equity, and generational wealth through FCHH’s homeownership, repair, and advocacy programs.
Habitat International will use its portion of the donation to prioritize advocacy and programmatic efforts designed to dismantle systemic racism in housing. Specifically, the donation will allow Habitat to advocate for policy proposals and legislation that enable millions of people to access affordable housing through its Cost of Home advocacy campaign; increase Black homeownership in the U.S. by targeting current systemic barriers through a new initiative that will launch this summer; and leverage innovative capital investments that service communities of color.
“Habitat works to break down barriers and bring people together — to tear down obstacles and build a world where everyone, no matter who we are or where we come from, has a decent place to live,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “This incredible gift helps make that work possible.”
"Surprise Jae & Pito, welcome to our new home!"
What an amazing day. Despite personally building almost every week throughout construction, Natasha managed to keep her Habitat home a secret from her kids until today's dedication! Be sure to check out the livestream video (link below) for their reactions seeing the house and their new rooms!
Today's dedication was also a milestone for our affiliate and the Greater JOSANA Neighborhood, with this house being the 100th Habitat home built or renovated within a half mile of School 17!
This new home was generously sponsored by Thrivent and the Harvest Home Coalition, the fourth Habitat home they have partnered together on, raising the funds and volunteer labor needed to complete the home with Natasha. Thank you all for your partnership and hard work. Congratulations Natasha!
Learn more about our partnership with TiverBuilt, Microdesk, and the Autodesk Foundation to use Building Information Modeling (BIM) and laser scanning to revitalize homes like this one on Child Street!
As construction continues at 375 Campbell Street, WROC-TV visited for an update on the 250th Habitat home in Monroe County, a home made possible by the sponsorship of Excellus BCBS.
Melissa Gardner, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Chief Population Health Engagement Officer, Matthew Flanigan, Flower City Habitat for Humanity President & CEO, and Marty Kranmer, an Excellus BCBS IT manager (and first time volunteer) were among those interviewed.
For the second time, The Builders Exchange of Rochester (ROBEX) has joined forces with Flower City Habitat for Humanity (FCHH) to build a home in the City of Rochester.
In 2008, the Junior Builders Exchange and the Builders Exchange partnered with Flower City Habitat for Humanity, ROBEX providing the labor and material to build 140 Orange Street. In less than a year, together, the Junior Builders Exchange, ROBEX and FCHH were able to turn over the keys to a first-time homebuyer. Thirteen years later, JBX and ROBEX are taking on the challenge once again, gathering the community to help provide the “American Dream” to another homebuyer - someone who will contribute 300+ hours of sweat-equity and pay an affordable mortgage.
“Flower City Habitat is excited to be a part of this project with our partners at ROBEX and in the building community,” said Matt Flanigan, CEO of Flower City Habitat for Humanity. “Building homeownership, communities and hope in our city is very much a team effort and this is an amazing team!”
“We intend to use this endeavor to provide awareness to the local community of the viability of careers available in the construction trades,” said Bob Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Upstate Roofing & Painting. “While teaming up with local organizations, our Habitat Site will be a training ground for high school students and job seekers interested in pursuing a career in the industry. We cannot think of a better way to support our community, expose our industry, and provide opportunities to our youth.”
“Supporting Habitat is a perfect example of natural competitors coming together for the common good. Builders Exchange members have been building Rochester for 130 years and helping people secure housing is vital to our community’s continued success and generational wealth,” said Aaron Hilger, President of Builders Exchange of Rochester. “We are proud to work with Habitat for Humanity on 226 Saxton Street and look forward to Building A Better Rochester!”
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