There are some homes that nobody can seem to salvage.
And when those homes appear, Chelsea Restoration has routinely stepped up to the plate. Now, with a hefty state grant in their coffers, they are ready to salvage three more Revere properties.
Helen Zucco of Chelsea Restoration said that the non-profit recently got a $450,000 grant from the Attorney General’s Office to pursue receivership of derelict homes in Revere, Chelsea and Saugus. That grant will allow them to start the process of fixing the homes – some of them in absolute chaotic conditions – and then re-selling them to the owner or, preferably, a veteran.
“It’s really great because it helps to strengthen the City’s neighborhoods, especially targeting and eliminating homes that are boarded up,” she said. “Through receivership of the property, it gives us the opportunity to renovate it and then the previous owner can redeem it for the costs, or if that cannot happen, we will re-sell it and we’re happy to do that. This time our goal is that we hope to be able to sell the properties to veterans.”
Chelsea Restoration has operated in Chelsea for several years, providing first-time homebuyer classes and foreclosure counseling. Through those services, a few years ago they realized there was a strong need for taking properties and rehabilitating them. They first did that in Chelsea, and then moved those services to Revere about four years ago at a derelict home on Warren Street.
A second effort on Agawam Street also proved successful.
According to a press release from the organization, the three properties in Revere that will be rehabilitated are:
•53 Thorndike St.
•16 Dana St.
•107 Garfield Ave.
Already, they have pulled a permit for selective demolition at the Dana Street property.
Zucco said getting the grant from the Attorney General’s Office is a great relief, as getting funding from banks for construction is next to impossible because Chelsea Restoration doesn’t actually own the properties.
“Nothing is cookie cutter in doing these,” she said. “One of the hardest parts is getting construction funding. In Revere, the City has provided us with funds and in Chelsea the same is true, but we do need a construction loan and there are only a small number of banks that will deal with us. The difficulty lies in that we are a court-appointed receiver, but we don’t own the property. Banks don’t like that, we are grateful to Peoples’ Bank in Revere and Chelsea Bank in Chelsea. They have worked hand-in-hand with us.”
Additionally, Zucco said that – due to foreclosures, abandonment and property tax defaults – there is a great need for receivership rehabilitation of homes. So far, only Chelsea Restoration is doing such work in the area, and that prompted Zucco to note that they would probably be expanding again.
“Right now, we are probably the only non-profit agency in this general area doing this,” she said. “People could look for the Chelsea Restoration going into other areas too besides Chelsea, Revere and Saugus.”
The grant will also provide for two property rehabilitations in Chelsea and several others in Saugus. All will have a veteran preference on the occasion of a re-sale.