Hillside Family Agencies Housing Initiative Program with the City of Rochester

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what is hillside Family Agencies Housing initiative Program

The Employer Assisted Housing Initiative Program, or HFA-HIP, is a partnership between the Hillside Family of Agencies and the City of Rochester that helps their employees to achieve their dreams of home ownership.


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Who is eligible for HFA-HIP?

  •  All Fulltime (FT) or Part-time (PT), Benefits Eligible Employees
  • No waiting period, employees can apply upon the first day of employment
  • Employees must agree to remain in a FT or PT, Benefits Eligible position at Hillside Family of Agencies for at least 5 years following the closing date of the property.
  • Property must be your primary residence for 5 years following the closing date of the property.

What does HFA-HIP give eligible employees?

You may be eligible for up to $9,000 towards your down payment and closing costs on an eligible property!

  • HFA will give you a $3,000 forgivable loan!
  • The City of Rochester will match this with an additional $3,000!
  • With an approved mortgage from Five Star Bank*, you may be eligible for an additional $3,000!

Unless otherwise noted, all funds provided are to be used for down payment and closing costs only.

*All mortgages must be approved through Five Star Bank*

What is an Eligible Property?


Property must be a one-to-four four family house in one of these City of Rochester neighborhoods

  • EMMA – East Main, Culver, Atlantic, CSX Tracks, North Goodman
  • Beechwood – East Main, Culver, Bay St, North Goodman
  • Marketview Heights – Clifford Ave, Inner Loop & East Main, North Goodman, North St

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What are HFA Rules?

HFA Requirements

  • Loan is forgiven over a 5 year period if residency and employment requirements are met.
  • If you terminate your employment or sell the house prior to meeting the requirements, the loan will be immediately repayable.

What are the City of Rochester Requirements?

  • Mortgage holder can not currently own a home in the city of Rochester
  • Must live in the property for at least 5 years
  • Must contribute $1,500 of your own funds
  • Must qualify for a conventional mortgage
  • Must attend pre-purchase home buyer training, if you are a first time home buyer
  • Income maximums are waived for this program only

This is not a complete list of requirements
For more information about the City requirements, please visit:

http://www.cityofrochester.gov/eahi/ Or email homebuyer@cityofrochester.gov

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How do I get started?  

Step 1 - Request a HFA-HIP Eligibility Letter from HROD BEFORE you apply for a mortgage.

Step 2 – Submit application to the City/go through interview process

Step 3 – If approved, apply for mortgage prequalification through through Five Star Bank

Step 4 – Attend Homebuyers Class

Step 5 – Once all pre-approvals and/or approvals are in hand, go house hunting in the approved area and put an offer on your future house!

Be aware that since this a grant funded program through the City, it can add several weeks to the closing process.  

You will need to allow at least 90 days from the date of offer to the closing date for funding.

Five Start Bank : Made For You

During the pilot phase, all mortgages must be approved through Five Star Bank.   Five Star Bank has customized their Home For You product specifically for HFA-HIP.


You may be eligible for: 

  • A .25% Discount off published conventional mortgage rates
  • No processing fee
  • Private Mortgage Insurance will not be required
  • $3,000 grant applied towards down payment or closing costs.  

For more information contact: 

Rosalie Rivera-Arzuaga Community Development Loan Officer, Assistant Vice President NMLS

| O- 585.478.7563 | M- 585.317.2619 |Rrivera-Arzuaga@five-starbank.com

How do I find an eligible Property?

Only properties that are part of either the EMMA , Beechwood, or Marketview Heights neighborhoods are eligible for HFA-HIP.

Go to the Celebrate City Living website to search for homes for sale within those neighborhoods.

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Who do I contact for more information?

  • HFA-HIP Program Questions
    • Alison Bottone, Chief of Operations Hillside Service Solutions
      • O-585-752-4255|abottone@hillside.com
  • City of Rochester Program Questions
    • homebuyer@cityofrochester.gov
  • Five Star Bank Mortgage Process Questions
    • Rosalie Rivera-Arzuaga, Community Development Loan Officer
      • |O- 585.478.7563 | M- 585.317.2619|rrivera-Arzuaga@five-starbank.com
  • Employment Verification Letter for City application
    • Rosalie Szczepanik, Administrative Assistant
      • O - 585-654-1301|rszczepanik@hillside.com

hillside family of Agencies guide