Lake Ontario Flood Recovery

The application period closed Friday, September 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM.
Your supporting documentation, estimates and additional information will continue to be accepted if your application was in by the deadline.

Procedural update.
The legislation providing the Flood Relief funding required that we prioritize situation that pose imminent health and safety risks to the occupants. This includes damage to structure, walls and septic systems. This application will be served before stand-alone shoreline applicants.
Stand-alone shoreline damage application will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted if additional information is needed at such time as we are able to serve them. Once you have applied no further action is needed until you are contacted by our staff.

The best way to communicate is via e-mail to We can respond to at least 10 emails in the time that is spent on one phone call.

Please help us help you more efficiently.

Helping Homeowners and Municipalities Recover from Flood Damage along the Lake Ontario Coastline – Updated

To expedite repairs and the construction of shoreline stabilization projects, Governor Cuomo declared a disaster emergency on May 2, 2017 in counties impacted by spring flooding along the Lake Ontario Coastline: Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne.

To aid in relief and recovery efforts, New York State is providing $22 million in assistance for homeowners, businesses and municipalities. From restoring roads, floodwalls and public water infrastructure to assisting small businesses with physical damage to providing New Yorkers with the help they need to repair their homes, these targeted programs are delivering relief to New York families across the entire Lake Ontario region.

$7 Million Available for Homeowners Impacted by Flooding

New York State Homes and Community Renewal will make available up to $7 million in state funding for homeowners along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in the aftermath of the extreme weather and severe flooding in the region. The new investment program will provide up to $40,000 for homeowners to support interior and exterior repairs to structural damage caused by flooding, as well as the repair or replacement of permanent fixtures.

For more information about eligibility and program parameters, read the Lake Ontario Home Owner Recovery Assistance Program Fact Sheet.


For Homeowners:

Download the application HERE.

The program will be administered through not-for profit housing organizations seeking to help homeowners affected by the flooding. Homeowners seeking assistance are encouraged to contact the not-for-profit organizations that have already expressed interest in serving as program participants to determine eligibility and ask questions about the program. Those organizations are listed below, along with their contact information and the areas they intend to serve:

Cayuga, Monroe and Wayne Counties

Sheen Housing

Orleans County


Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties

Neighbors Of Watertown, Inc.

Niagara County

Niagara Falls Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.

Homeowners may also contact the HCR Office of Community Renewal to express interest by contacting or calling 518-474-2057.

** We do not have any information at this time on the pending additional $90 MM for flood victims. We will share information as it becomes available, thank you for your patience. **

It’s Not Too Late to Apply for the Lake Ontario Residential Recovery Program
Deadline Friday September 29th 5pm

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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.

ROC The Day on December 8th!

The Housing Council in Rochester, NY is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and one of New York State’s most active HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

We provide free and low-cost services along the entire continuum of housing and homeownership, whether you are a prospective homebuyer, current homeowner, tenant or landlord. We work hard to assist low and moderate-income households access the housing opportunities that they deserve, and that will provide critical stability in their lives.

On Thursday December 8th, the United Way is giving non-profits like the Housing Council a chance to reach out to individual donors and ask for financial support during “ROC the Day,” a one-day only, online giving event.

On December 8th, I’m asking you to support the Housing Council with a donation for as much or as little as you’re able to give so that we may continue to build on the strong programs that have helped our clients lead healthy, stable, and sustainable lives. The Housing Council maintains a 7% administrative costs rate, meaning that 93 cents of every dollar spent at the Housing Council is dedicated to direct services.

The Housing Council provides:

– Rental assistance to households experiencing financial emergencies
– Training, support and information to landlords and property managers
– Housing counseling to homeowners in danger of foreclosure
– First-time homebuyer training and education
– Fair housing information to tenants, homeowners and landlords

Click here to make a donation:

We wouldn’t be here without our clients who we are proud to serve, and I’m asking for your help so that we can continue to offer high quality, free service to our clients well into the future.

Thank you for any amount of support you’re able to give!

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