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By Paul E. Bocka | Broker in Fairport, NY

Rural Homebuyer Education and Counseling

Rural Opportunities, Inc.
ROI is a private, not-for-profit regional community development and human service organization providing services to farmworkers, low-income families and economically depressed communities throughout New York.

Rural Opportunities, Inc. creates and provides opportunities for farmworkers and other disenfranchised people to confront and overcome barriers that systematically prevent them from gaining access to economic, educational, social and political resources.

ROI Homeownership Program
The ROI Homeownership Program assists low and moderate-income households through homebuyer education classes and one-on-one homeownership counseling that enables many families who never believed they could own their own home to become homeowners.

Homebuyer education classes cover:

  • basic banking
  • understanding credit
  • the home buying process
  • grants or below market rate loans to assist them in purchasing a home.

Rental Assistance
ROI is the local administrator of the HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance program in five New York Counties: Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan, Yates and Genesee. Participating households benefit from rental assistance to make up the difference between 30% of their adjusted income and the fair market rent of typical apartments in their area. ROI Section 8 staff provide outreach, intake and case management services and perform regular Housing Quality Standards inspection of all units.

Housing Technical Assistance
ROI provides technical assistance to non-profit organizations, municipalities and other agencies to assist them in developing affordable housing to meet the critical needs of farm workers and other low-income families.

Housing Rehabilitation and Weatherization Services
ROI improves the quality of existing housing stock through rehabilitation and weatherization services. These services bring housing that is occupied by low-income families and seniors up to decent, safe standards. The weatherization assistance program also provides free energy saving improvements to income-eligible households to help them reduce their utility costs and increase the safety and comfort of their homes. Weatherization services are provided in Monroe County, NY, outside the City of Rochester. Minor and moderate rehabilitation services are currently available only in Genesee County, NY.

Supplemental Homelessness Intervention Program (SHIP)
ROI provides services to TANF Eligible that are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in Dutchess, Genesee, Orange and Sullivan counties. The goal of the program is to assist eligible families to obtain permanent, safe and stable housing. Families receive apartment search techniques, referrals for available housing and for other needed services, as well as information and advocacy regarding tenant rights.

ROI Homeownership Program
In order to participate in the program you must be a first time homebuyer, or not have owned a home in the past 3 years or be a displaced homemaker/spouse.

The emphasis of the program is on education and counseling. All individuals or families that participate in the first time homebuyer program receive 10-12 hours of Homebuyer and Money Management education , and a minimum of 1 hour of individual pre-purchase counseling. The ROI homeownership Counselor works closely with each family from initial contact to the closing on their home. 

Currently Homeownership Assistance Programs are offered in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Puerto Rico.

Call the Information Line below:
• Monroe County: 585-340-3302,
   Carleen Wade – cwade@ruralinc.org
• Genesee and Orleans Counties: 585-343-7297
   Tammy Hyman . - thyman@ruralinc.org
• Ontario and Wayne Counties: 585-234-3565
   Dee Frey – dfrey@ruralinc.org 


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