Utilizing funds recovered by the AGO through a nationwide state-federal settlement over unlawful foreclosures, the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (AGO) is pleased to announce the Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership Fund (the “AHI Fund”). The AHI Fund is designed to assist Massachusetts and its communities to mitigate the impact of the foreclosure crisis. Specifically, the AHI Fund is meant to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods and communities that have suffered the impact of foreclosure clusters, promote home ownership, and support revitalization efforts across the Commonwealth, all in partnership with the AGO’s Abandoned Housing Initiative (AHI). It is anticipated that grants will be awarded for the period of June 24, 2013 to June 24, 2015. All funds must be expended by June 24, 2015; unexpended funds must be returned to the Commonwealth.
The following organizations will serve as fund administrators and receive a total of $500,000 each to distribute to a range of eligible municipalities over the two-year grant period:
- Chelsea Restoration Corporation (CRC) will oversee a program to revitalize distressed neighborhoods and communities in the Metro-Boston region that have suffered the impact of foreclosure clusters, promote home ownership, and support revitalization efforts.
- Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) will provide housing rehab loans and grants in town and municipalities in Western Massachusetts, including the counties of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire. MHIC will provide flexible combinations of loans and grants to enable the rehabilitation of properties in need of receivership.
- City of Fall River will enable its Community Development Agency to administer grants and loans in Southeastern Massachusetts including the communities of Barnstable, Brockton, New Bedford and Taunton, to fund rehabilitation costs for abandoned, foreclosed, and/or vacant residential properties.
- Worcester Community Housing Resources, Inc. (WCHR) will target properties in Central Massachusetts that have been most affected by foreclosed and abandoned properties, and provide outreach and training materials to locate additional receivers that might be valuable participants in this program.
The goal of the AHI Fund is to increase the capacity of receivers to finance the rehabilitation of abandoned properties in the Commonwealth through AG Coakley’s Abandoned Housing Initiative, a program that assists communities in targeting problem properties that have fallen into disrepair in order to bring them back up to acceptable standards.
The fund is designed to complement the first-in-the-nation HomeCorps program that provides direct services to distressed Massachusetts borrowers through loan modification advocacy, legal representation, and social services referrals.