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In this episode:This Old House collaborated with Boston’s Public Facilities Department on the renovation of an abandoned triple-decker, creating a home and two rental apartments for a first-time home buyer.
The scene was not an appealing one: The once-proud triple-decker stood unoccupied and slowly dying at the end of a dead-end street. Its rear porches were falling off, the windows were beyond repair, the asphalt siding was awful and the interior stank of cats. Thankfully, its prospects started looking up as TOH joined forces with an innovative Boston urban rehabilitation program and work began to bring this 100-year-old structure back from the brink.
Before the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department instituted its Residential Development Program, tax-foreclosed properties like our triple-decker were seized by the city and sold at auction, a practice that encouraged speculation and discouraged development. The program, which is still in place, works like this: abandoned and foreclosed houses and lots are sold to first-time buyers and small contractors, the kind of people that are likely to stay with their new investment. After selling the property for as little as one dollar, the department helps the homeowner by arranging for government subsidies to pay part of the rehabilitation costs and assisting in other finance and loan matters. It also aids in securing reliable contractors and assigns an on-site manager to ensure a successful rehabilitation.
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Source: Homes and Lifestyle