Healey Announces Division to Address Abandoned Properties

Attorney General Maura Healey

HYANNIS – To assist communities in the creation and preservation of safe, habitable homes across the state, Attorney General Maura Healey recently announced the creation of the Neighborhood Renewal Division.

Healey appointed Amber Villa as chief of the new division, who has been with the Attorney General’s Office since 2008.

“The Neighborhood Renewal Division will build on the success of our office’s Abandoned Housing Initiative by addressing the state’s shortage of safe, habitable, and affordable housing,” said Healey in a statement.

“Amber’s leadership on this issue has already moved the dial forward on hundreds of projects and partnerships across the state, and we are excited to have her at the helm of this new division.”

The Abandoned Housing Initiative is a program created in 1995 to address abandoned properties in Boston and Springfield.

In 2009 the program was expanded after the foreclosure crisis increased the number of abandoned properties statewide, according to Healey.

AHI works in 146 communities across the Commonwealth and has improved more than 450 properties and recovered more than $1 million in unpaid property taxes and municipal fees between 2017 and 2019.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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