City Seizes Decaying Bank-Owned House, Gets It Fixed Up

The city of Haverhill, Massachusetts has had it with abandoned, vacant buildings, especially those that are now bank-owned due to foreclosure. One three-unit apartment building had vagrants occupying the space, using the floors as a bathroom and turning the building into a biohazard. Having such a “disgusting” building on a main road made no one in the city happy, and the city found a private company to act as a receiver and renovate the building.

This is apparently a common issue in Haverhill, and the city has started seizing properties that have been abandoned. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a local owner letting the houses rot or an out-of-state bank: the owner must register with the city and name a local person or property management company in charge of taking care of the property. You know, basic things like checking for squatters and mowing the lawn.

The bank that owned this building apparently had no incentive to not let squatters break in and poop on the floors, so the city seized it. A private-sector receiver took over the building, securing it and investing $300,000 in making it habitable again.

Ideally, the mayor says, the building would be sold as three condominiums instead of ending up in the hands of one landlord, since the city’s goal is to get formerly neglected properties into the hands of homeowners who will invest in their homes and neighborhoods.

‘Disgusting’ building restored, ready for families [Eagle-Tribune]