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From zombie home to family home

Jamie Frumusa
Left to right: - Dana Miller, Director of Business Development, Habitat’s Ethel Dube, ESL’s Foundation Director Ajamu Ktwana, Shanna Campell & her kids, ESL CEO Faheem Massod

Flower City Habitat for Humanity is celebrating the completion of two additional zombie house renovations in Rochester.

A dedication ceremony was held Thursday at 129 Fernwood Ave., a formerly abandoned house that is now the new home for Shanna Campbell and her three children.

Ethel Duble, development and marketing director for Flower City Habitat, said they have partnered with the city of Rochester, the Rochester Land Bank, Enterprise Community Partners and the ESL Federal Credit Union to try to eliminate zombie homes in the community.

“We have committed to seven zombie home rehabs,” Duble said. “Today we are dedicating our third and fourth in this series of homes we have committed to rehabbing.”

Another formerly abandoned house on Del Monte Street is now home to a couple, both natives of Puerto Rico, and their two children.

The zombie home issue has accounted for more than $11 million in property value losses in Monroe County and the city of Rochester.

Duble said Habitat for Humanity homebuyers must meet several eligibility requirements, and that includes renovating zombie homes.

“Three hundred-plus hours of sweat equity,” she said. “And this includes not only building on the construction site, but attending financial literacy and home maintenance classes, and they participate in additional hours in community services for outside organizations other than Flower City Habitat.”