For Immediate Release - April 12, 2013

Application Period Opens for $5 Million Abandoned Housing Grant Program

Funding a Result of National Settlement over Illegal Foreclosures and Loan Servicing

BOSTON – In an effort to increase the rehabilitation of distressed and abandoned properties in Massachusetts, Attorney General Martha Coakley today opened the application period for a $5 million grant program. Utilizing funds recovered through the nationwide state-federal settlement over unlawful foreclosures, the Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership Fund (AHI Fund) will assist local communities in mitigating the impacts of the foreclosure crisis.  

“This fund will not only help revitalize distressed neighborhoods but promote home ownership and rehabilitation efforts across the Commonwealth,” AG Coakley said. “These grants are just one example of our continued commitment to provide relief and stability to communities that have suffered the impact of the foreclosure crisis.”

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 will 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.

Up to $2 million will be available for the initial roll out of the AHI Fund with another $3 million to become available at a later date.  Selected applicants will be charged with using the funds to create a program for up to two years that supports the rehabilitation of abandoned residential properties and the creation of safe and affordable housing, and provides the services necessary to make qualified properties habitable. 

Eligible applicants to the grant program must be Massachusetts community development corporations, Massachusetts community development financial institutions, municipal governments, or municipal housing and redevelopment authorities that are in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service and in compliance with all reporting requirements of the AG’s Non-Profit and Public Charities Division.

Interested applicants can visit the Attorney General’s website, www.mass.gov/ago/grants, for additional information about the application process and to download application materials. The deadline to apply for the AHI Fund is by 4 p.m. on May 16. 

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