Lead Prevention at the Housing Council

Since April of 2010, new federal laws require contractors to be EPA Lead Certified Renovators. This impacts anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs paint in housing and child -occupied facilities built before 1978.

Lead is especially dangerous to children under six years of age. Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing:

• Reduced IQ and learning disabilities.
• Behavior problems.

Even children who appear healthy can have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies.
Lead is also harmful to adults. In adults, low levels. Access the EPA Renovate Right brochure to learn how to be in compliance with federal lead regulations.

Landlords: Are Your Rental Units Online?

Last year over 25,000 tenants made use of this registry. The Rental Registry, which is published twice weekly, is a proven medium in which to advertise your vacant units. The Department of Social Services and numerous other local agencies in the City of Rochester and Monroe County also use it to assist individuals who need housing. The Rental Registry is made available online to help tenants and agencies find available units.

The following options reflect the current fees for listing available units in The Housing Council’s Rental Registry:

  • Option #1 – Single listing for $20
  • Option #2 – 4 listings for $50
  • Option #3 – 10 listings for $100
    All listings will run for 45 days.

All listings will run fior 45 days or until unit is rented.

Checks can be made out to The Housing Council and mailed to us or dropped off at our office.

Welcome to our New Website!

As you can see, we’ve made some changes to our website. We hope that it’s as easy to use as it is informative!

Our new site will give you the opportunity to

  • Search for available affordable housing
  • Purchase documents online
  • Register for Operating Rental Property or First Time Homebuyer courses online
  • Chat with a representative to get Housing Hotline questions answered
  • Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter
  • Stay up-to-date on our latest research initiatives and findings

It is still a bit of a work-in-progress, so your patience is appreciated. If you find that you’re unable to find something or you’ve just got comments or feedback about our new design, please give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to making this site be as useful to you as possible.

-The Housing Council

First Home Club

Enrollment in First Home Club gives participants:

Households will be provided opportunities for confidential counseling to discuss personal finances, household budgeting and credit history.

Understanding and completing the requirements of the FIRST HOME CLUB 
We will review FIRST HOME CLUB program requirements with you, including the systematic savings process, homeownership counseling and use of the FHC dedicated savings account.

Mortgage Payment versus Rent
We will realistically assess the issues that should be considered in choosing between renting and owning a home.

Financial Planning for a Home
We will estimate the mortgage a household can or should consider affordable. Provide a guide to credit enhancement and maintenance. Assist each household in establishing a schedule of systematic savings.

Choosing an Affordable Home
We will discuss the procedures in searching, negotiating, and making the offer to purchase.

Create a Monthly Budget
We will help you develop budgeting skills in order to manage money in all aspects of the household’s life. Describe the payments (PITI — principal and interest, taxes, and insurance) and costs of maintaining a home.

Contract of Sale
We will explain the signing of the contract and the professional home inspection.

Mortgage Loan Application
We will assist and explain the application and approval process. Explain verification of income, grants, gift letters, and underwriting procedures.

Downpayment and Closing Costs
We will explain downpayment requirement and the fees paid at closing.

The Closing Documents
We will explain the information provided in the various documents executed at closing and the obligations incurred as a borrower.

The Closing
We will help you understand closing day from scheduling and final to who does what at the closing table.

Life as a Homeowner
We will help you in understanding homeownership issues such as the following: payment due dates; late payment penalties; tax benefits of home improvements; how to maintain and improve the home; refinancing choices; importance of keeping good documentation on capital improvements.

Predatory Lending
We will help you in recognizing and avoiding predatory lending practices before and after purchasing a home. Recognizing traps, scams and costly fees such as private transfer fees (sometimes known as “flip fees”).


When accessing our services if you need assistance due to a language barrier, mobility impairments, visual or hearing impairments or other disabilities please let us know in advance so we can provide the necessary accommodations.

Tips For Homeowners Behind on Their Mortgage

It’s a good idea to keep the lines of communication open. Your lender can be very helpful in explaining your options for keeping the home OR to stall the foreclosure process. If you continuously ignore phone calls from your lender, they may assume you have abandoned the home.

The further behind you become on your mortgage, the more expensive the fees and costs become. Your #1 expense is the mortgage payment.  If it is a choice between paying credit cards or the mortgage, you should pay the mortgage as long as your lender/servicer will accept a payment.  If you fall too far behind, the lender/servicer may not accept a payment, as they will want to start the foreclosure process.  It DOES NOT mean they won’t work with you. The foreclosure process will continue while you are attempting to work out a solution with your lender.   The easiest expenses to reduce are “optional” expenses: cable TV, cell phones, gym memberships, eating out, et

If your lender/servicer won’t accept a mortgage payment (typically after 60 days past due) and you have one, save it. Your lender/servicer may require some money as a contribution once you are offered a permanent resolution.

The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options.  Later mail may include important notice of pending legal action.  In NYS you will also receive a letter about your settlement conference.

Many for–profit companies and attorneys will contact you promising that they will save your home.  They may also promise to greatly reduce your monthly payment or interest rate. While most of these businesses are legitimate, they will charge you thousands of dollars for something you can do yourself, or a HUD approved agency will provide for free. Some of these companies may even attempt to try to get you to sign your title over to them.  Never sign any document without reading and understanding WHAT you are signing, or getting legal advice from an attorney.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds free or low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the legal process of foreclosure, develop a realistic budget, and communicate with your lender/servicer on your behalf.

Settlement Conferences

A new law passed in February 2010 gives ALL mortgagors the right to a mandatory settlement conference. These conferences are simply a meeting between you, your lender, and a judge/court mediator. The end goal would be to work out an arrangement concerning the delinquent mortgage. The meetings are conducted face to face, and will typically be held in the Supreme Court Chambers of your jurisdiction.

The Housing Council at PathStone has the ability to help homeowners obtain legal counsel in this matter. The majority of our clients end up being referred to Empire Justice, Volunteer Legal Services, or Legal Aid Society.  We are very successful in obtaining legal counsel for the majority of our clients.

What to Expect During Your Foreclosure Prevention Appointment

1.   To get started you can call us at 585-546-3700 x 3036 or toll free at 866-669-1688. The intake specialist will set up an appointment for you to meet with a Foreclosure Prevention Counselor.  At that time, the intake specialist will send you a confirmation and a list of items you should bring to your appointment.  Note. If you prefer a phone appointment, the paperwork would need to be sent to us before we can schedule an appointment. Download Intake Forms

2.    During the appointment your counselor will discuss your situation with you including:

  • What caused (is causing) your hardship
  • We will help develop a budget to determine the best resolution (it will be helpful to know your monthly expenses before you meet with your counselor)
  • We may make suggestions of ways to increase income/decrease expenses.
  • We will explain the New York State Foreclosure Process and explain the varying workout options to stay in your home or transition out.

3.    At the end of the appointment the counselor will give you a client action plan.  This plan summarizes your situation, states the course of action and lists some strategies for you.

4.    After the 3rdparty authorization is set up with lender/servicer, your counselor will contact your lender/servicer to discuss your situation and options. If applicable, you and your counselor will gather the necessary documents to submit to your lender/servicer. The counselor will assist in submitting the application; they will also follow up on the status of your application until a plan has been set up.  Please keep in mind that the process of review can be long (60-90 days on average).

5.    Your counselor will continue to keep you updated on the progress of your application. Your file will remain open with your counselor through the entire process. And they will be able to answer ANY questions you have during this process.