The City of Rochester is home of the Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Bausch and Lomb, garbage plates and maybe, soon, UR faculty and staff.

As of March 17, UR has been encouraging faculty and staff to buy homes in the city and not just its suburbs. In fact, seminars sponsored by Rochester City Living – a cooperative venture of real estate professionals, neighborhood associations and city officials – called “City Living Sundays” have been attended by some of the UR’s 15,600 employees. The program, called the Housing Incentives Program, aims to stimulate the city’s economy as well as its residential communities.

“UR is important to the vitality of our community, including the city,” Vice President and General Secretary to the President Paul Burgett, a Rochestarian of 39 years said. “Because we are located within city limits, there is some percentage of our work force that will find it desirable to live closer to the university. So this program is designed to assist university employees to live in the city,” he added.

UR has always demonstrated concern for its surroundings. “This is only one aspect of our ongoing interest in the city’s well being,” Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Ronald Paprocki said in a March 17 “Democrat and Chronicle” article.

In the past few months, UR asked its banking partners to propose incentives for its faculty to move into the city. The banking partners responded, posing a variety of options for low to moderate income housing areas, as well as other areas throughout the city.

CitiBank is offering up to $6,000 in closing costs for new homeowners within the city and any funds left over can be used to “buy down” the mortgage rate as well as $500 to all prospective homeowners for purchase or refinance anywhere in the Greater Rochester area.JP Morgan Chase is offering up to $3,500 toward closing costs to new homeowners who intend to occupy a residence in Department of Housing and Urban Development-designated low or moderate-income.Advantage Federal Credit Union and M&T Bank are offering similar incentives.

In addition to the incentive packages, the Home Store, an agency dedicated to helping homebuyers, is also taking an interest in the program with hopes of stimulating Rochester’s economy and real estate market.

Many describe the city as lacking. “There are just not enough people and not enough shopping in downtown Rochester,” sophomore Rebecca Braun said.

Some students, however, enjoy Rochester. “People just like to complain,” senior Tim Sweeney said of negative comments about Rochester.

According to Burgett and Kraus, UR and the city are grateful for the financial aid that the generous benefactors are helping this new project.

Victor can be reached at jvictor@campustimes.org.



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