Rochester falls short on housing goals, city reports

February 28, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: // Rochester not meeting housing goals, city says with only 200-250 single-family homes being built annually compared to the goal of 500 homes per year. The estimated market demand for home sales between 2020 and 2030 is 5,628, but only around 960 homes are being built annually to meet this demand.

In a presentation to the City Council, Rochester Community Development Director Irene Woodward highlighted the city’s housing shortfall and presented policy solutions to spur further development. The Council was urged to be flexible with tax increment financing policies, implement a three-year abatement program for homeowners, and support existing rentable homes through tax incentives. The benefits of housing density were also discussed, emphasizing its efficiency in land use and local economic stimulation.

Executive Director of the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing, JoMarie Morris, highlighted the challenges of high construction costs and interest rates in financing homes. She suggested reinstituting single-family TIF policies and removing prevailing wage requirements to encourage development. These recommendations received support from local builders and developers, who emphasized the need for local talent and entry-level housing opportunities.

The presentation also touched on the demand for 3,000 multifamily units downtown, but did not address the speed of multifamily development. Overall, the city of Rochester is facing a significant housing shortage that requires immediate action to meet market demand and support local development.

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