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175 vacant homes in Rochester to be demolished

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Mayor Lovely Warren is announcing a plan to demolish all vacant homes in Rochester.

Currently, that list includes 175 properties, many that have been vacant for years.

"The houses on our demolition list are beyond repair. They are unsafe and often contaminated with asbestos and lead. They can be a magnet for drug users and crime."

Standing outside one on Ames Street, Warren said these properties bring down the surrounding homes values and community morale, and that neighbors deserve better.

She says they plan to have them all knocked down by the end of the fiscal year.

A grant to the Rochester Land Bank of $1.5 million will help rehabilitate some other vacant properties in the city that still have a chance to be renovated.

The City of Rochester has also allocated $1.2 million in the year-end budget amendment towards this effort. City Council will vote on the increased funding in the coming months.

This announcement was one of the Mayor's first public appearances following her hospital stay.

She said she feels a lot better, but is still on the road to recovery.

"My voice fluctuates, it goes up and down so I'm still recovering. But I feel a lot better and I'm ready to get back out here and be seen in the neighborhoods and the community."

Warren said it’s been a rough couple weeks after spending six days in the hospital due to an allergic reaction, but says she never stopped working, taking calls and answering emails from bed.