By Staff –
Mayor Lovely Warren, Commissioner of Neighborhood and Urban Development Baye Muhammad, and City Council Members Adam McFadden, Michael Patterson and Mitch Gruber attended the new center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“I want to congratulate the Rochester Housing Authority for opening its first “RCafe” in Danforth Towers, and for beginning the process to construct new, beautiful and comfortable gathering places in all of its public housing towers,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “By making these investments, and raising the quality of affordable housing in our city, the Rochester Housing Authority is putting our citizens on a path to reach their full potential, which helps us create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities for all of our citizens.”
RHA created the center, located inside Danforth Tower East, which is a public housing site in downtown Rochester, as a gathering place for residents of both Danforth Tower East and West.
The cost of the project was $150,000, and the new cafe included major updates to the interior of the current resident lounge area, made possible by using a portion of accumulated operating surplus dollars that had been held in reserve, the group stated.
The organization plans to construct an “RCafe” community center at each of its public housing towers by the end of 2020.
“Creating these gathering spaces, where residents can enjoy each other’s company, share stories, stay engaged, and create unique business opportunities for resident entrepreneurs – was an important goal for us in 2018,” RHA chief operations officer Paul Foti said. “It’s proven that spaces like this help build a sense of community, ownership and pride, and we want people that live in our public housing residences to feel they have that with us.”
RHA currently serves more than 22,000 low-income families, seniors, and disabled residents in the five-county Greater Rochester area.
Approximately 20 percent of those residents reside in over 2,400 RHA public housing units, while others receive assistance in the form of voucher or certificate programs that help them afford eligible, private housing.