Originally scheduled as an in-person event last spring, the MHP Western MA Housing Conference emerged this fall as a series of seven virtual workshops, geared toward officials, volunteers, and employees in small and rural towns in Western MA.
On November 5, the workshop on Distressed and Abandoned Properties featured Mike Moriarty from OneHolyoke CDC and Don Bianchi from MACDC, along with Maja Kazmierczak from the MA Attorney General’s Neighborhood Renewal Division. More than 30 people, ranging from municipal officials to regional planning agencies to CDCs, joined the workshop.
The workshop highlighted three approaches to addressing the problems associated with distressed and abandoned properties:
- The Attorney General’s Neighborhood Renewal Division’s use of the enforcement authority of the State Sanitary Code to turn abandoned residential properties around. (See presentation here)
- OneHolyoke CDC’s experience as a Receiver in Holyoke, bringing a community development and nonprofit housing perspective to abandoned properties. (See presentation here)
- The Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative, a multi-faceted approach to addressing vacant and distressed properties in weak market neighborhoods and communities statewide. (See presentation here)