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How Should City Spend $7.5M in COVID-19 Aid?

Staff reports

Rochester City Hall. File photo

The city is seeking input on how to use money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act adopted in March, Rochester expects to receive approximately $7.5 million in additional HUD funding to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The additional funding will be added in the form of an amendment to the 2019-20 Consolidated Community Plan/Annual Action Plan, the budget for the city’s annual HUD allocation.

The public comment period on the proposed amendment runs through 5 p.m., May 6 and will conclude with an online public meeting of the Rochester City Council to be held at 5 p.m., May 7.

Eligible programs include economic development; housing services; closing the digital divide; providing support services for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless; a contingency fund to be allocated based on the needs of the community in relation to the coronavirus epidemic; with the remainder to be used for administering the program. Funds could also be allocated to organizations that are providing services to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness or individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

To view the full amendment, go to Comments on the amendment can be delivered by email to Amy Ventura at or by U.S. mail to Amy Ventura, c/o CARES Act Action Plan Amendment, City Hall Room 224B, 30 Church St., Rochester, NY 14614.

In order for a comment to be presented at the online public hearing, it must be received no later than 5 p.m. May 6, 2020 and be prefaced by the name and address of the commenting individual or organization.

Each comment submitted in this manner will be read into the record for up to 3 minutes on the live webcast of the public hearing that begins at 5 p.m., May 7. In addition, the full text of comments will be shared with each councilmember prior to the hearing.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the public hearing will be conducted on-line, streamed live on the City Council Facebook ( and Youtube pages.