Lowell Fights Urban Blight

In fight against urban blight, Lowell adds tool to arsenal

By John Laidler, Globe Correspondent / May 27, 2012

A once-blighted Lowell house has been rehabilitated and put on the market through the city’s use of a state tool that allows abandoned properties to be placed into receivership.

City officials Tuesday held a ribbon cutting ceremony to highlight the completed upgrade to the home at 128 6th St. and the process that enabled them to accomplish it.
Using the model of state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Abandoned Housing Initiative, Lowell tapped a state law that enables the court to appoint receivers for properties whose owners fail to rectify sanitary code violations. A receiver appointed by the court at Lowell’s request last August overhauled the building in about four months of renovations. After initiating foreclosure proceedings, the receiver purchased the property at auction on April 23 and recently placed it on the market.

The property is the first that Lowell has brought through receivership in recent history, according to city officials, who hope to replicate the effort with other properties.

“This program is an excellent tool for changing the momentum in a neighborhood by taking a building that is a blighting influence on its neighbors and turning it into a model that can inspire others to improve their properties as well,” Mayor Patrick Murphy said in a prepared statement. “We’ve already started to see this positive impact on 6th Street.”

To read more, please click here for the full Boston Globe article.

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