Rochester Needs Assessment

Rochester Needs Assessment

CTG- Rochester

The current racial inequities in homeownership and entrepreneurship in Rochester, NY result from a historical pattern of systemic racism toward people of color and preferences toward Whites. While Rochester has had many periods of prosperity throughout its history, Rochesterians of color have been excluded by housing and educational segregation, underemployment, underinvestment, White and economic flight to suburbs surrounding the city, income disparities, and extreme poverty. Today, the city remains highly segregated, and people of color continue to inherit inequitable wealth gaps while facing new challenges when trying to close them.


As Rochester embraces its status as a minority-majority city and aspires to rectify the injustices people of color have faced throughout its history, the systems within the city will need to shift. People of color, specifically Black Rochesterians, deserve reparations for the additional barriers set before them. These reparations, meant to close the gaps between White and BIPOC residents in Rochester, may come in many forms, including redirecting resources and providing direct support. The city is rich with leaders dedicated to supporting aspiring homeowners and entrepreneurs of color, yet a greater understanding of the systemic barriers to both is also needed. This report aims to provide an account of the historical and present-day challenges people of color face when attempting to build their wealth through homeownership and business ownership, as well as recommendations on actions the city of Rochester can take.


More Resources

Beyond 5: Business Survivability Study for New Majority Entrepreneurs

Beyond 5 is a Business Survivability Study for New Majority Entrepreneurs produced by 1863 Ventures with funding from Living Cities, Surdna Foundation, Wells Fargo, M&T Bank, Capital One and Georgetown University. The 1863 Ventures team found that Black and brown businesses survive at least 8.5 years, compared to the median of six years. What would it take to support BIPOC …

Takeaways from Our Discussion about Equitable Small Business Opportunity and Good Jobs Tied to Infrastructure and Climate Investments

Promoting business opportunities for all, while creating good jobs and developing shovel worthy infrastructure and climate action projects, is not a pipe dream. And yet our traditional ways of operating won’t get us there. Simple spending more, rather than smarter and more fairly, won’t be enough. Business as usual is neither inclusive, protective or coordinated enough, and it often lacks …

Living Cities, Urban Institute Research Report: A Landscape Scan of Homeownership for Households of Color

Homeownership has been a primary wealth-building opportunity in the U.S., and can impact a family’s economic outcomes across generations. Living Cities partnered with the Urban Institute to provide data for the six cohort cities, the five states where these cohort cities are located, and nationally around homeownership for households of color. The research report, “A Landscape Scan of Homeownership for …

Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund 2022 Annual Report

This report summarizes Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund’s (“BCF” or the “Fund”) activities during its seventh year of operations, from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022 (FY22). The BCF portfolio is a collection of investments that work to test innovative investment approaches to address the racial wealth gap, shift power within capital systems, and achieve better outcomes for all …

Get Updates

We want to stay in touch with you! Sign up for our email list to receive updates on the progress we’re making with our network of partners, as well as helpful resources and blog posts.