Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.39.41 PM copyWe are still in need of coats.  Would you be willing or able to donate coats for this event?  Check the list below for easy drop off locations or contact us for other alternatives.

The Housing Council in collaboration with Project Homeless Connect is seeking coat donations for homeless and at risk of becoming homeless families.  Help us serve over 900 homeless and at risk families in one day?

  • The United Way, 75 College Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607.
  • St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 28 Lincoln Avenue, Pittsford, NY 14534.
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Road, Rochester, NY 14607.
  • The Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word, 597 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607.
  • Brighton Presbyterian Church, 1775 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610.
  • MetroCenter: The College at Brockport, 55 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY 14604.
  • PathStone Corporation, 400 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607.

Project Homeless Connect Rochester is a one-day, “one-stop shop” event on September 20, 2013 serving people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The event provides a hot meal and a warm coat along with other valuable community linkages and services with the goal of making affordable housing accessible and sustainable.  We expect to serve over 900 people September 20, and we need YOUR help!

The event’s goal is to provide information and a connection to essential, ongoing services, such as housing, employment, government benefits, veterans’ benefits, legal services and many other vital services.

The mission of Project Homeless Connect is to rally our community to support and create lasting solutions for homeless individuals.

Please visit for more information.

Any other questions please feel free to contact Joshua Sankowski at 585-546-3700 Ext. 3032.




Economist: First-time homebuyer pipeline in growth mode

The August jobs report showed a definite lull in the American economy, but recent home price and sales improvements are setting the stage for an even stronger housing market in 2013, according to Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Fratantoni told HousingWire the slow economic recovery may create a pipeline of first-time homebuyers. With rates and prices low, those buyers may be willing to jump into the market in the coming months, he suggested.

Fratantoni said recent data shows the U.S. economy hitting a “soft patch.”  Yet, home prices are looking up in many markets after years of steep price declines, creating the momentum for additional home listings and purchases in 2013, Fratantoni told HousingWire while attending the MBA’s Risk Management and Quality Assurance Forum in Dallas.

The MBA economist noted first-time homebuyers vacated the market after taking advantage of homebuyer tax credits offered back in 2009 and 2010.  Those tax credits moved first-time homebuyer sales ahead a few years, reducing overall demand as housing prices plunged to their natural bottom.

ESL Federal Credit Union Supports Housing Council

ESL Federal Credit Union, the regions largest credit union, recently donated $5,000.00 in support of The Housing Council’s ongoing programs. Karen Leonardi, Board President of the Council, center, in the above picture, receives the donation from ESL Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Community Relations, Maureen Wolfe, left and Dave Fiedler, ESL Chief Executive Officer, right.

Leonardi, in accepting the donation, acknowledged the “ongoing history of ESL in their support of critical housing programs such as those that the Council manages, including foreclosure prevention, first time home buyer support, and landlord/tenant education.


Executive Director Position Description


The Housing Council is one of New York State’s largest HUD-approved comprehensive housing counseling agencies.  We are a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1971, in Rochester, New York. The Housing Council provides landlord education, foreclosure prevention, pre-purchase counseling, emergency housing services and fair housing education. The Housing Council provides property management tools and strategies to landlords in order to enhance their business skills and familiarize them with their rights and responsibilities.

Last year, The Housing Council served over 8,000 households throughout the region.



  • To strengthen our community one home at a time.
  • To assist homeowners, tenants, landlords and municipalities through education, counseling and research.
  • To promote fair housing awareness.
  • To be the comprehensive resource for all housing issues.


 TITLE:  Executive Director

FUNCTION:  The Executive Director provides the vision and leadership to guide the daily management of the agency towards the goals of ensuring financial stability in order to deliver valuable services to its clients and the Greater Rochester community.

SUPERVISION:  The Executive Director with staff executes funder contracts and policies established by the Board of Directors.  The Executive Director is accountable to the Board.

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS:  At least six years of solid experience in a senior management position for a not-for-profit organization; housing-related experience preferred.  Must have knowledge of and experience working with state, federal and private foundation grant requirements. Demonstrated ability to manage and work effectively with diverse groups of individuals.  Able to structure tasks into work process to accomplish agency goals and objectives.  Has highly developed interpersonal skills and ability to cultivate and maintain effective working relationships with funders and potential donors.  Bachelors degree required with concentration in urban studies, public administration, social work or similar major preferred.


  • Implement processes and procedures to strictly adhere to grant and contract deliverables and program requirements.


  • Identify new grant and funding opportunities related to the agency’s mission and strategic plan.  Present well researched recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding programs, revenue opportunities, strategic initiatives and collaborative partnerships.


  • Develop and implement annual strategic plan to guide the fulfillment of Board approved objectives and ensure the financial stability of the agency.


  • Provide sound management over the annual budget and all financial resources.


  • Direct the day-to-day management of the agency and provide guidance and leadership to the staff.


  • Cultivate an empowered environment and create institutional values that inspire a culture committed to quality, integrity and mutual respect.


  • Undertake special projects or other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.



  • FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION:  Accounting, billing, budgeting, monthly financial statement preparation, insurance, human resource management and facilities management.


  • COMMUNICATIONS, BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  Agency relations, business development, education and training for constituencies, staff development, event coordination, maintenance of online and print materials and publications, social media outlets and public website.


  • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT):  Administration of system network, office software and devices and program data collection systems.


  • CONTRACT MANAGEMENT:  Prepare, submit and adhere to all grant application and contract deadlines and related contract maintenance.


  • PROGRAMS:  Deliver programs to targeted audiences in fulfillment of contract and funder requirements.  Strive to exceed expectations and provide a high-quality level in the administration and delivery of all programs and services.
Interested parties should send a letter of interest along with a resume to

Reverse mortgages as popular as IRAs in 10 years

Reverse mortgages will be as ubiquitous as individual retirement accounts in 10 years because many folks will have more money in the former than in the latter, says Scott Norman, vice president of Austin, Texas-based Sente Mortgage‘s reverse mortgage division.

Norman says the forces of supply & demand and education will serve as the engine for his prediction’s materialization that every extended family will have a member with a reverse mortgage.

“There’s still a great deal of education — for financial planners, certified public accountants, home health care professionals, real estate attorneys — that needs to be done,” Norman says. “We haven’t even scratched the surface yet.”

Reverse mortgages let borrowers convert a portion of their home equity into cash. However, unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, borrowers can hold off on repayment until they no longer live in the home, fail to meet the obligations of the mortgage or pass away.

The demographics point to a robust consumer base for the reverse mortgage industry.

The population of individuals 65 and up increased 15% to 40 million in 2010 from 35 million in 2000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It projects a 36% increase to 55 million in 2020. And by 2030, about 72.1 million older Americans, over twice their number in 2000, will exist — about 19% of the U.S. population.

Norman says Sente Mortgage views reverse mortgages as a product with unlimited upside, a natural financial planning option for aging Americans within the housing economy. He favors the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Saver, a type of reverse mortgage offered by the Federal Housing Administration that requires drastically lower upfront fees — just .01% of the home value — than the HECM Standard, but reduces the amount of money available to the borrower.

“As the baby boomers continue to age and home values stabilize, the question is ‘How are they going to retire?’’ Norman says. “Pull up average 401(K), average savings amount, average debt. These seniors aren’t going to be able to retire at a fraction of what they’re living today. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.”

“I’m not saying a reverse mortgage is for everybody, but it is certainly an option that may be the most realistic for a majority of the seniors in the next five to ten years,” Norman says. “It’s safe, it’s cost efficient. The biggest complaint you have regarding reverse mortgages is not the product, but that it’s expensive to grow old in America.”

They’re also confusing, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which released a report highlighting the risks for American consumers as they struggle to understand reverse mortgages.

“Reverse mortgages are complex and have the potential to become a much more pervasive product in the coming years as the baby boomer generation enters retirement,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The CFPB report found that while consumers are largely aware of reverse mortgages, few completely understand them. “Many consumers struggle to understand how their loan balance will rise and their home equity will fall over time with a reverse mortgage,” the reported stated. “Some borrowers do not understand that they need to continue to pay taxes and insurance with a reverse mortgage.”

Norman concedes that some of the bureau’s conclusions were “relatively accurate” and applauds the bureau for embarking on such a study. However, he scolds it for not consulting consumers while conducting the study and forming conclusions. The CFPB has yet to respond to inquiries about Norman’s claim.

According to the CFPB study, 70% of borrowers are taking out the full amount of proceeds as a lump sum rather than as an income stream or line of credit. “This raises concerns that consumers who take out all of their accessible home equity upfront will have fewer resources available later in life. They may not have the money to continue to pay taxes and insurance on their homes, which can put them at risk of losing their home,” the report stated.

As part of a public education campaign, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association developed a newly redesign consumer website in June that provides comprehensive help and information on the entire process of obtaining a reverse mortgage. NRMLA is partnering with the federal government as part of the campaign.

Norman, meanwhile, doesn’t think the CFPB’s findings are wrong. He just doesn’t think they went far enough.

“Most of the seniors we deal with are smarter and wiser than we’ll be in the next 20 years,” Norman says. “These are smart people. They lived through World War II. We haven’t.”


Fair Housing

Fair Housing laws protect all from unfair treatment. You cannot be denied a house thats up for sale because of your:

• race
• national origin
• familial status (having children)
• marital status
• sexual orientation
• military status
• disability
• age
• sex
• religion

If you feel you may have been discriminated against please call our office and we can help you file a complaint or just answer your questions.

Call our Fair Housing Hotline at 585-546-3700

or e-mail your question to us at

Advertise Your Units

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.

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

The Housing Council
75 College Ave., Suite 412
Rochester, NY 14607

Please do not mail cash – we are not responsible for payments lost in the mail.