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State Attorney General Awards Rochester “Cities Rise” Grant

By Staff –


Eric Schneiderman

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced 18 cities, including Rochester, as winners of the first phase of the state’s Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement (“Cities RISE”) grants, an investment which will total more than $10 million over the next two years to cities and towns across the state.

The attorney general launched the program in April, which the office said aims to innovatively address and transform blighted, vacant, or poorly maintained problem properties through the use of housing and community data from various state agencies.

“Too many New Yorkers are still struggling in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis,” the attorney general stated. “That’s why my office is investing the dollars we secured from the banks, to provide the tools necessary to rebuild and strengthen our neighborhoods. Cities RISE presents a 21st century approach to overcoming this crisis, and revitalizing New York’s communities.”

Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the two non-profit organizations which are managing the program, will receive a two-year subscription to a data platform designed to integrate and analyze data such as code enforcement records, tax liens, and fire and police data.

In addition, Cites RISE has also partnered with Tolemi (formerly known as OpportunitySpace), a social enterprise that created BuildingBlocks, a platform designed to integrate housing and code enforcement related data.

“The Building Blocks software will be a valuable tool in our ongoing efforts to make government more transparent,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “Using this software, individuals will be able to get detailed information about properties, particularly vacant properties, in the city. I am thankful to the attorney general for his advocacy on behalf of our citizens, which helps us in our efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

The grantees will also receive capacity building support from Spruce Technology, and the grants will be guided by a senior advisory team made up of issue area experts specializing in community revitalization and engagement.

Future phases of the program may also include additional change management resources, support to develop a community collaborative, and an innovation grant to launch new programs, state officials said.

Schneiderman has awarded the following municipalities the grants:

City of Albany
City of Binghamton
City of Buffalo
City of White Plains
City of Elmira
Town of Huntington
Town of Irondequoit
Town of Islip
City of Mount Vernon
City of Newburgh
City of Niagara Falls
Town of North Hempstead
New York City
City of Rochester
City of Saratoga Springs
City of Schenectady
City of Syracuse
City of Yonkers

Visit for additional information regarding the program.

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