Funding Through the AG’s Abandoned Housing Initiative Targets Demolition of Dangerous Properties Across Massachusetts
BOSTON – (RealEstateRama) — In order to continue to reduce severe residential property blight, enhance public safety, and improve neighborhoods and communities, the Attorney General’s Office will be awarding $500,000 in grants to fund strategic demolition projects across the state, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Utilizing funds recovered through the nationwide state-federal settlement over unlawful foreclosures, the grants from the Attorney General’s Office Abandoned Housing Initiative (AHI) will assist local communities that have been impacted by severely blighted properties. Municipalities that apply for funding must demonstrate an immediate community need for demolition and an absence of any other viable remediation measures for the property. Those applying must also show plans for post-demolition site redevelopment.
“Communities across the state are dealing with severely blighted properties in their neighborhoods, but often lack the funds to complete the demolitions that are necessary when buildings become a real safety concern,” AG Healey said. “These grants will allow municipalities to target these dangerous properties in order to boost future residential and economic development.”
The Attorney General’s Office has partnered with Chelsea Restoration Corporation, Fall River Community Development Agency, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, and Worcester Community Housing Resources, Inc. to administer the grant funds. Each of these four grantees will administer $125,000 for their respective regions. More information about this grant can be found on the Attorney General’s website.
The Attorney General’s Office continues to assist local communities in mitigating the impacts of the foreclosure crisis through AHI. AHI employs the State Sanitary Code to seek out delinquent owners of distressed or abandoned residential properties and to have them bring those homes back into code compliance. If an owner refuses, then AHI can petition the Court to appoint a receiver to complete the needed repairs, with a lien placed on the home for the value of the work. The receiver is then compensated when the property is sold.
AHI currently works with 108 cities and towns in Massachusetts and there are currently more than 380 active abandoned properties in the program. AG Healey announced the expansion of the program earlier this year.