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Increasing Quality Rental Housing Grant – An Invitation to Apply

Non-profit organizations experienced in administering housing rehabilitation and/or landlord education programs are invited to submit a proposal for consideration for funds from the ESL Increasing Quality Rental Housing Grant. This new grant opportunity is focused on our Building Strong Neighborhoods funding priority area and is an example of how we will invest in organizations who help make quality, affordable, and well-managed rental housing more available in neighborhoods across the greater Rochester region.

Increasing Quality Rental Housing Grant Overview

The aim of grant opportunity is to support non-profit organizations that work to increase the supply of quality, well-managed affordable rental housing in our community.

Grants will be provided to non-profits that administer residential property repair and energy improvement resources that benefit income-qualified tenants (below 80% AMI). Properties that will be considered include 1-to-4-unit dwellings and residential units in mixed use buildings.

We will also consider requests from non-profits that administer property management education and/or one-to-one business coaching services to Mom & Pop housing providers. Services should focus on helping small landlords improve their business operation, including but not limited to income and expense tracking, understanding fair housing and other regulatory requirements, tenant screening and lease agreements, tenant mediation, the eviction process, tax liability and maintenance schedules.

Funding Request Information

Requests that include one or more of the following will be prioritized by:

  • Participation in collaborative housing/neighborhood efforts
  • Alignment with Monroe County Rental Market Study (2021), Rochester Housing Market Study (2018), and/or the Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan (2019)
  • Whole-House Systems Approach
  • Target resources geographically
  • Require lead safe work practices for approved repairs

Applicants may request grant funds in one or more of the following areas:

  • Programmatic: Support for the cost of planning, expanding, piloting, or implementing a new or ongoing rental housing rehab and/or housing provider education/business coaching program.
  • Continuous Learning and Evaluation: Support for internal evaluation or the hiring of an evaluation consultant to help evaluate the impact of the proposed program.

Funding may not be used for:

  • Large capital campaigns
  • Inherently religious activities such as religious worship, religious instruction, proselytization, etc.
  • Endowments

Submission Details

Eligibility: Non-profits (501 c3) serving communities in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne with demonstrated experience administering housing rehab programs and/or housing provider education/coaching services.

Grant Size: Requests of $100,000 - $500,000/year will be considered for up to three years. We will consider up to 50% of the total program cost and the requested budget must be commensurate with scale and scope of the project.

Funding Cycle: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through Friday, October 6, 2023. Funding decisions will be made within 60-90 days of submission.

Required Documents: Applications should include descriptions of how funds will be used, identify other sources of funds and outline reporting criteria, including demographic information and any key learning. Other required documents are listed in the online grant application.

How to Apply

  • Full details can be found in the Request for Proposal.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through October 6, 2023
  • Applications should be submitted through the ESL Community Impact grants portal. We recommend using Google Chrome as your web browser.
  • Once in the portal, there are two applications to choose from; please select the application that best matches your total requested amount.


If you have questions about applying for funding or your proposed project, please contact:

Eric Van Dusen
Manager, Community Impact

Monika Reifenstein
Relationship Manager, Community Impact

Learn more about ESL Community Impact initiatives.