An ambitious plan to renovate and rebuild so-called zombie homes is taking off in Rochester— thanks to City Hall and Habitat for Humanity. Six months ago they teamed up to tackle the problem of abandoned and neglected properties around the city. Thanks to the program, 21 year old Alaeah Kendrick and her daughter Sarai are truly home for the holiday.
“Being able to watch her grow up in this home, the both of us,” Alaeah says. “Being able to raise her somewhere comfortable and loving and just having a place called home.”
Kendrick now owns this house on Parsells Avenue. She didn’t just put in a down payment for the property, she put in sweat equity, helping Habitat crews renovate and rebuild. This was once a vacant eyesore. Now the house is helping anchor the neighborhood.
“When a house is empty, we know statistically that means more crime, it brings down house values,” says Matt Flanigan, President and CEO of Flower City Habitat for Humanity. “So it’s a gift that keeps on giving when we can take that house, reenergize it, put a new family in there. It helps the entire neighborhood and we we’re excited about that.”
Over the past three decades, Flower City Habitat for Humanity has built and renovated nearly 250 homes – a mission that wouldn’t be possible without corporate sponsors, thousands of vounteers, and families like the Kendricks. Alaeah dreamed of owning her own home, and this Christmas that dream has come true.
“Having family come over to the house this Christmas, it’s going to be a great feeling.”
For more information on how to sponsor a house, help build and renovate, and volunteer for Flower City Habitat for Humanity, click here. — ROCHESTER FIRST