Rehabbing The Housing Stock:City Officials Announce New Program Earmarked For Shurtleff/bellingham and Addison-orange Areas

A new City program that offers financial services to eligible owners of 1 to 4 unit residential buildings will launch in Shurtleff-Bellingham and Addison-Orange census tracts as part of the Community Development Block Grant activities in these neighborhoods that are underway.

This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Program.

Currently being piloted in Shurtleff-Bellingham and Addison-Orange, the program provides deferred-payment loans to eligible applicants for qualified housing rehabilitation work to bring properties into code compliance and eliminate violations that threaten the health and safety of building occupants. The City incorporated this program in its CDBG grant to support the efforts of the code enforcement activities being carried out by the Chelsea Department of Inspectional Services, specifically related to housing inspections necessary under the changes to the City’s Certificate of Habitability Ordinance in 2014 that require inspections of rental units to be at least once every five years, in addition to the requirement already in place for inspection prior to re- occupancy with new tenants. Housing units must meet the minimum standards in Chapter II of the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code.

The Housing Rehabilitation Program requires that applicants or eligible tenants be income- qualified and that rental units assisted by the program be rented to low- and moderate income households at affordable rent levels for the term of 15 years. Funds must be allocated in the targeted areas identified in the CDBG grant, and may be used to correct health and safety hazards; code violations; serious building maintenance deficiencies, deteriorated roofs, structural deficiencies.

The state granted a total amount of $200,000 that would be able to serve up to 10 housing units with a maximum assistance of $20,000 per unit. Program staff will work with applicants to try to identify other private or public sources of funding for necessary repairs. The program is administered by the Chelsea Restoration Corporation on behalf of the City and applications are received in a rolling basis. For applications or to get more information on eligibility requirements, please contact Marilyn Garcia, Chelsea Restoration Program, at (617) 889-2277, [email protected] or David Guzman, Chelsea Department of Planning & Development, at (617) 466-4186.

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