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.”
Emma & Beechwood Neighborhoods: If you aren't familiar with Connected Communities, they are "Dedicated to building up EMMA and Beechwood neighborhoods from within by engaging residents, service providers, and community partners in our holistic approach."
Flower City Habitat for Humanity is one of many partners who are helping with this effort that encompasses everything from education, economic opportunity, health and wellness, and of course... housing.
Last week they presented a thorough quarterly update, including housing efforts. The link below will start the video at the housing update, but if you are interested in learning more about other neighborhood initiatives, just start the video from the beginning!
Monroe County is currently seeking input on how to spend $144M among six key focus areas, with housing included in one of them.
Flower City Habitat joins Monroe County in asking those who live, work, or play in the county to complete a short online survey to choose your top three.
We encourage everyone to take a few moments to learn more about these priority areas and complete the online survey today. (Priorities are defined in the survey.)
Flower City Habitat for Humanity has joined local Habitat affiliates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia who are calling on the lead negotiators of the Build Back Better Act to keep housing priorities in the bill. In a letter delivered to congressional leaders today, Habitat is outlining specific priorities that would invest in the nation’s housing infrastructure by boosting supply of affordable homes for both rental and homeownership and creating new opportunities to access those homes for lower-income families.
“Habitat works in communities all across this country — urban, suburban and rural — and we are speaking with one voice: Congress must deliver transformative housing investments in the Build Back Better Act,” said Jonathan T.M. Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Housing investments are fundamental to health, economic mobility and racial equity, and must continue to be a core tenet of the nation’s plan to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to address decades of disinvestment in safe, decent and affordable places to live.”
The more than 375 Habitat organizations are calling on Congress to support six specific legislative initiatives that will boost affordable homeownership. Habitat is acting through its Cost of Home campaign, which is working to improve housing affordability for 10 million people.
“Stable, affordable homes are indispensable for Americans’ health, education and well-being,” the Habitat organizations wrote. “Investing in our nation’s housing infrastructure by building and preserving homes for affordable homeownership will fortify our communities and broaden economic recovery. Habitat urges Congress to prioritize these housing investments to ensure no one and no community is left behind as we build back from the pandemic.”
Today at 2pm!
Habitat for Humanity International and Flower City Habitat for Humanity invite you to join us for a live discussion: +You: Serving those who served – veterans, housing and COVID-19.
Veterans encounter unique and complex challenges as they transition from military to civilian life, including obtaining services such as housing, employment, education, and healthcare.
In this discussion on the eve of Veterans’ Day, experts will discuss COVID-19’s impact on veterans’ mental, physical, and emotional health, the pandemic’s role in making veterans access to essential services such as housing even more challenging, and the policy changes needed to ensure veterans have greater access to affordable housing.
This conversation is part of an ongoing series about housing hosted by Habitat for Humanity. The +You series brings together experts from across the U.S. and around the world to discuss COVID-19’s intersections with, and impacts on, housing.
The event will stream live today from 2-3pm ET at http://www.habitat.ngo/veteransandhousing
As we share in the sadness, anger and uncertainty that have rocked communities across the United States since the killing of George Floyd — protests of the systemic and racial injustice that have infused and informed the life of our nation — we recognize that we must do more. I must do more." — Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford
Building with hammers and voices
Throughout Habitat's history, our work has been a vehicle for reconciliation that has broken down barriers between people. We work alongside those willing to partner with us, no matter their background or walk of life, and that will always be true.
We will continue to build with our hammers, build connections among community members; and build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
At the same time, we must also do a better job of directly addressing systemic barriers to affordable housing, and we must work to eradicate those barriers.
Historic discrimination in U.S. housing policy — particularly discrimination against Black Americans, and including mortgage redlining in Rochester — is one of the chief drivers of racial inequities that still persist today.
Organizations like Habitat that work on housing must understand that history, understand that its legacy still affects our neighbors and neighborhoods today, and it must inform our work moving forward.
In addition to being a space where people of all races, all faiths and all backgrounds can come together in common cause, we commit to being actively anti-racist and to affirming, through word and action, that Black Lives Matter and that our communities and systems must further this fundamental truth." — Habitat for Humanity International CEO, Jonathan Reckford
At the link below you will find further details of Habitat for Humanity's commitments, including steps that are being undertaken now, a great list of actions that you can take with us, and a list of educational materials (to read or watch).
We know we can't do everything on these lists all at once; but as individual staff members, volunteers, and supporters — we can each commit to starting with one. Start with one action today.
As a local Habitat affiliate, we are also committing to walking alongside and supporting each other as we undertake this essential work.
We will occasionally send bigger updates to everyone (like this one), but if you would like to receive more frequent, step-by-step updates about our advocacy, education, and social justice work, please update your email preferences here.
Act now: Tell Congress you support housing stability and Habitat during COVID-19 pandemic
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, families are facing both a public health and an economic crisis. The longer it goes on, the more this pandemic also becomes a housing emergency.
We need you to add your voice now to tell Congress to act for housing stability.
More than 18 million families in the U.S. pay more than half of their income on housing, leaving little or no margin for lost income or increased health costs. Many of those families are facing additional economic hardship from lost wages or layoffs and are now confronted with impossible choices between trying to pay their rent or mortgage and life’s other essentials.
Even before the pandemic, far too many families were already facing these circumstances. These are the families with whom we partner. They are going to need our hand up now more than ever.
Congress needs to act to support these families. It also needs to support nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity that serve our communities. Congress is considering additional economic relief legislation, and Habitat is hard at work leading efforts to provide support for our homeowners and other low-income families financially impacted by the pandemic. We’re also fighting for financial support for Habitat organizations and other nonprofits, whose work will be so vitally important as we recover from this pandemic.
The CARES Act included some measures to provide economic relief for families and businesses, but Congress needs to go further to support families struggling to afford life’s essentials and nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity that serve our communities.
Join us in calling on members of Congress to prioritize the needs of low-income families and the organizations that work hard to serve them.
Partnership to build homes for those with autism
The Autism Council of Rochester, Inc. has created a new partnership with Flower City
Habitat for Humanity to create a unique housing program for individuals and families
with children & adults living with Autism. This partnership is a first-of-its-kind in New
York State and its focus will be to remove barriers which prevent our families from fully
participating in homeownership, including the families in the build process and the
necessary accommodations for Sensory Needs Modifications, which may be a
challenge for individuals on the spectrum and possibly prevent them from being able to
enjoy their physical surroundings and comfort within their home.
The program currently has five applicants in the process.
"We are very excited about the new housing program and the steps being taken to
serve a vastly underserved group in our community. As a parent of someone living with
autism, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges living situations can create on a
daily basis," said Lawana Jones, Founder & Executive Director of the Autism Council.
“We are truly gratified to be in partnership with the Autism Council of Rochester. We
look forward to providing homes that will allow each individual to be fully supported
and truly benefit from their living environment. We know the impact on our homebuyers
and their families will be a lasting one,” said Matt Flanigan, CEO, Flower City Habitat
for Humanity. “We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve our mission
of building homeownership, communities, and hope.”
Groundbreaking for the initial two homes in the program will begin in June 2019.
For more information on the next round of applications for the housing program, please
Get the latest news and events from Flower City Habitat via email. Click here for email updates.