Providence tackles blighted properties with new program

By: Melissa Randall
mrandall@abc6.com

Blighted properties in Providence are getting a face lift thanks to a new program aimed at addressing the foreclosure crisis. The receivership pilot program will help turn vacant-problem properties into a place buyers and tenants can again call home.

Thursday morning 90-92 Pleasant Street received a fresh coat of paint- giving it a fresh start.

The 3 family apartment is the first to undergo major renovations as part of the city program.

“It sends the message that this is a neighborhood to invest in and will be a great place for people to live and raise their kids,” said Jeffrey Padwa, City Solicitor.

Here is how it works: a court appointed receiver takes control of the property. They fix it up and then are either paid back by the owner, or the property is sold. Frank Shea, Executive Director of the Olnyville Housing Corporation says the threat of losing their property makes owners more accountable.

“Property owners who are not holding up their end of their responsibilities now knowing this tool is available to the city I think will be brought to bear to be more responsible,” he said.

The Pleasant Street home was the source of crime in the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood. On top of that it had been in housing court for at least 7 year, and had a number of code violations. Neighbors hope the transformation will bring up property values.

 “This area is super nice, and it’s close to very nice places, and some of these neighbors here are really nice people, but then there are some rough spots, so maybe this will change that,” said neighbor Sarah Winkler.

There are about 300 vacant properties in the Capitol City. 6 of them are currently being restored, and plans for more across the city are in the works.

Construction on the Pleasant St. home should be complete in 1 to 2 weeks. Several people have already expressed interest in buying it.

© WLNE-TV 2014
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