CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The downturn in the economy burst the local housing bubble and thousands of families lost their homes. Some of those houses still stand empty after years and the blighted properties are now a problem for their communities.
What happens when they become illegal dumping grounds and fire hazards? The 22News I-Team follows the legal hurdles and safety issues that municipalities face when gaining control of abandoned property.
You can see the story Tuesday, April 29 on 22News at 11 p.m.
Do you live near an abandoned property? Let us know where in the comment section below.
(Mass.gov) – Abandoned Housing Initiative (AHI)
Blighted properties, abandoned by their owners in residential areas, create safety hazards, attract crime and lower property values. The AGO’s Abandoned Housing Initiative uses the enforcement authority of the State Sanitary Code to turn these properties around. Working in close partnership with cities and towns, the AGO seeks out delinquent owners of abandoned residential property and encourages them to voluntarily repair their properties and make them secure. If owners refuse, then AGO attorneys will petition the relevant court to appoint a receiver to bring the property up to code. How the Program Works »
Additional Information for Receivers
While the AHI involves a highly collaborative effort, it is important to remember that a receiver works at the behest of the courts and not for the municipality or AGO. Some housing courts maintain lists of qualified and approved receivers for judges to use. However, where there is no court-maintained list, judges often look to the petitioner to propose an individual or organization to serve as a receiver.
As the petitioner, the AGO will work with the municipalities to determine appropriate receivers to be appointed by the court. We also encourage potential receivers to contact the AGO directly. If you believe that you are qualified to serve as a receiver and are interested in being considered as a potential receiver, please complete the brief questionnaire and submit it to the AHI Team.