NeighborWorks Rochester Names University a 'Partner of the Year'

UR Press Release:


NeighborWorks® Rochester will present the University of Rochester with its Healthy Blocks Partner of the Year Award during its annual
meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the group's South Avenue office. This
award recognizes Rochester's many programs that create strong ties
between undergraduates and community members.

NeighborWorks® Rochester is a nonprofit housing agency that assists families and
first-time buyers in the city with homeownership and helps to ensure
their long-term success as homeowners. As a U.S. Housing and Urban
Development-approved housing counseling agency and a community
development financial institution, the group works to strengthen,
sustain, and promote city neighborhoods.

The annual meeting will honor individuals, businesses, and
organizations that make a tangible contribution to the organization's
goals and mission. The Healthy Blocks program focuses on helping
targeted neighborhoods reach their potential by encouraging residents
to get involved in their community. The Healthy Blocks Partner of the
Year Award recognizes the University of Rochester as a partner that has
worked to increase community involvement in the Brooks Landing
neighborhood.

"At the University of Rochester, we pride ourselves on our support for
our neighboring communities and our contributions to their strength and
vitality," said University President Joel Seligman. "As a part of this
effort, we also encourage students to become engaged and involved
citizens of Rochester, and we are honored to be recognized for their
efforts."

Several University departments, including the Rochester Center for
Community Leadership and the office of Residential Life, have worked
with NeighborWorks® Rochester on several community events and service
activities.

Over the last two years, University undergraduates and community
residents have participated in potluck dinners at the newly opened
Staybridge Suites and, at the start of the fall semester, Rochester
students and community members also had the opportunity to introduce
themselves at the first annual Brooks Landing Community Barbecue. More
than 300 students, faculty, staff, and community residents mingled
while enjoying entertainment provided by community members in the SWAN
Band and the After Hours a cappella group, a University of Rochester
student performance group.

University of Rochester undergraduates have been active volunteers in
neighborhoods on the east and west sides of the Genesee River. This
year, freshmen who participated in Wilson Day worked with
NeighborWorks® Rochester and the South East Area Coalition on a street
clean-up project along South Clinton Avenue. The community
collaboration continues as this February, the 19th Ward Community
Association, NeighborWorks® Rochester, and the University will host an
ice skating party at Genesee Valley Ice Rink.

In addition to community involvement, the University also works with
NeighborWorks® Rochester through the University's Home Ownership
Incentive Program. Under the program, the University, the city of
Rochester and one of two financial institutions—Advantage Federal
Credit Union and Canandaigua National Bank & Trust—together
contribute up to $9,000 toward the purchase of a primary residence in
the neighborhoods closest to the University. In return, employees are
required to agree to five-year occupancy and employment commitments and
also participate in homeownership education and counseling through
NeighborWorks® Rochester.

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