Second Phase of Homeowner Stabilization to Begin Soon

The Chelsea Homeowner Stabilization Program has nearly completed its first round of assistance, and will begin the larger Phase 2 program – which has money in it to help those whose property taxes have gone up significantly – will begin in the next two weeks.

Housing Specialist Desirae Valentin told the Affordable Housing Trust Fund on Tuesday that the first phase was successful, with 25 people selected for help and the loan documents now being wrapped up.

She said 41 had been put in the lottery, with others on the waiting list. However, only 25 were selected and qualified, and some money was left over because of that. That money will be rolled into Phase 2.

Of the 25, some 15 have signed agreements and the City is moving to get payment to them. The others are still finalizing paperwork and loan documents.

“We should be finishing within the next two or three weeks on that and everyone will have signed loan agreements by the end of the month,” she said.

The program gives out up to $5,000 for a single-family, $8,000 for a two-family, and $10,000 for a three-family. It is meant to pay three months of mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance and tenant costs. The loan is forgiven after two years if one doesn’t sell the home and doesn’t move out. Those accepting would have to pay half back if they sell within the year, and all of it back if they sell immediately.

The larger Phase 2, she said, should open up in a couple of weeks for applications.

City Planner Alex Train said they are also working with Chelsea Restoration Corporation to make loan modifications to those homeowners who do not have a favorable mortgage, such as a high adjustable rate.

Additionally, he said there have not yet been a lot of foreclosures on homeowners in the city as of now, but many experts expect that in the near future.

“We haven’t seen a large number of foreclosures yet and that’s because lenders are being flexible,” he said. “Forecasters do predict there will be increases in foreclosures if the market doesn’t pick up for hospitality and service sectors.”

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