For Immediate Release - June 27, 2013

AG Coakley to Award $5 Million in Grants as Part of Abandoned Housing Initiative Fund

Four Organizations to Receive Initial $2 Million in Regional Funding; $3 Million in Additional Grants to be Made Available in the Future

BOSTON – To further promote the rehabilitation of distressed and abandoned properties, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today that $5 million in grants will be awarded to housing organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

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. Four organizations were chosen to receive an initial $2 million to administer throughout their corresponding region, with an additional $3 million to be made available at a later date as the progress of selected organizations is monitored.

“Communities across the Commonwealth are still struggling with the impacts of the foreclosure crisis, as many distressed neighborhoods are in dire need of revitalization,” AG Coakley said. “These grants will provide funding to organizations that will continue to help promote rehabilitation efforts statewide.”

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.

More information can be found on the Attorney General’s website

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