BOSTON – Fall River and New Bedford were among 21 communities awarded grants by Attorney General Martha Coakley to encourage the rehabilitation of distressed properties.
In May, Coakley announced the Distressed Properties Identification and Revitalization program in collaboration with registries of deeds across the commonwealth after recovering funds from a multistate settlement over unlawful foreclosure methods. The program was created to mitigate the impacts of the foreclosure crisis by identifying distressed and vacant bank or creditor real estate owned properties in order for municipalities to advocate for prompt rehabilitation. So far this year, there are more than 5,300 distressed properties in the selected municipalities.
Communities are tasked with working with deed holders and municipal departments to identify distressed properties, followed by creating strategies to engage with property owners and advocate for proper rehabilitation and returning the properties to productive residential use. If further enforcement is needed, the properties identified can also be referred to Coakley’s Abandoned Housing Initiative, according to a news release. •