Affordable Home Gets New Life, The Salem News, June 11, 2012

By Paul Leighton
Staff writer

BEVERLY ” A single-family home that had fallen on hard times is about to go back on the affordable-housing market for a second time.

Two housing agencies have teamed up to restore the house at 23 Chase St. and plan to sell it to a qualifying first-time buyer for less than $180,000.

The house had been purchased by the Beverly Affordable Housing Coalition in 2005 and sold to a low-income family. The owners ran into financial problems, faced foreclosure and abandoned the building.

The house had fallen into disrepair but has been restored by Harborlight Community Partners and North Shore Habitat for Humanity. It is expected to be sold by lottery by the end of the month.

Don Preston, president of North Shore Habitat for Humanity, said the project required the efforts of a variety of parties, including the city and the Beverly Cooperative Bank.

“It goes back to the uniqueness of Beverly in affordable housing and its willingness to take on these odd situations,” he said. “You need these types of partnerships, and you never know what kind of partnership is going to take place.”

Preston said Habitat for Humanity provided the skilled labor and donated materials for extensive renovation work, which included new hardwood floors, a new heating system, roof repairs and landscaping. Harborlight Community Partners has assumed temporary ownership of the building and is marketing the house to income-eligible families.

Preston said city officials and the Beverly Cooperative Bank also helped to make the project a reality.

“They didn’t want to see it be lost,” he said. “If it actually went to auction (through the foreclosure process), the deed restriction would be lifted. They wanted it to stay affordable.”

g000258000000000000dbd1c119783ee2a5dd39fb4d0a86af51712e32caStudents from Masconomet Regional High School have volunteered to landscape and clean up the property.

Preston said the home is in a good neighborhood where several families have lived for years. The house has three bedrooms, a covered porch and a fireplace.

Potential buyers must be income-eligible and participate in a lottery conducted by Harborlight Community Partners.

“The real reward for this hard work will be when a family is able to move into 23 Chase St. and call it home,” said Andrew DeFranza, Harborlight’s executive director.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or by email at