Planning Assessment & Reuse Project
Your Community Development Authority (CDA) has been aware of continuing problems with the quality of rental properties within, and outside of, some of our most challenging neighborhoods. This includes blighted conditions of private property, chronic vacancy, and outright property abandonment. As a result, the Town of Ware applied for, and received, a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG, FY 2012) from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
The focus of this grant was to undertake a comprehensive property assessment and reuse planning (PARP) project within the town’s dedicated block grant Target Area. Based on programs observed in other communities, the CDA wanted to go back into these neighborhoods and identify constructive ways to improve these distressed properties, either through rehabilitation, or as a last resort, by complete demolition of the property necessitated by years of neglect by current or past property owners. The properties identified through the PARP process exhibit a myriad of challenges that resulted in their “distressed” status. Vacancy (and the resulting lack of money to improve on the properties), neglect, vandalism, squatters, neighborhood crime, and a weak housing market, among other factors, contribute to the problems faced by owners when trying to revitalize their properties.
Regardless of the plainly-evident challenges, your CDA cannot act alone. Property owners must be willing to take action as well. What has been solely a property owner's responsibility in the past, the Town can now assist to take the steps to improve on their properties and make them a safe and pleasant place to live.
From a list of over 180 properties, the Town identified 47 for further study in the PARP project. These 47 properties exhibited the most significant state of abandonment, blight, or substandard conditions including structural problems, broken windows, and the like. After determining site restrictions, site limitations, building condition, and estimated rehabilitation cost (exterior work only), recommendations were developed for each site. Please note that since the report was prepared, several properties on this list have undergone renovation or have been demolished.
It is our sincere hope that through a cooperative effort including not only property owners and the Ware CDA, but also financial institutions and other agencies and organizations, our community can come together to help clean up our neighborhoods and improve living conditions for all residents of Ware. We are beginning this process through our FY15 application for a Community Development Block Grant.
You can learn more about this project in the links below
2014 Ware PARP Report - 2014
This is the final report prepared by our consultants.
2014 Ware PARP Appendix
This is the information, analysis, and recommendations for each of the 47 sites.
Funding Source Information for Owner-Occupants
This is the listing of funding sources available to property owners who live in the building (e.g. single family home, one unit in a duplex) to potentially address their needs.
Funding Source Information for Investor-Owners
This is a listing of funding sources that investor property owners (usually of apartment buildings) can potentially access to address their needs.