Fitchburg house hunters given incentive to purchase North of Main properties

By Elizabeth Dobbins, 

UPDATED:   09/01/2017 01:26:10 PM EDT

FITCHBURG -- Some first-time home buyers looking to purchase a property in the North of Main neighborhood will be eligible for assistance through a new grant program, officials announced Thursday morning. 

"It's more empowerment for the neighborhood," said Madeline Mendoza, Homeownership Program Manager at NewVue Communities. 

ReImagine North of Main and the North Central Massachusetts Community Reinvestment Act Coalition both donated $10,000 to create a $20,000 grant fund for buyers looking for assistance with placing a down payment on their first home. 

Prospective buyers can apply for an up to $4,000 first-come, first-serve grant, until the money runs out.

Tricia Pistone the vice president of Montachusett Opportunity Council and Project Director of ReImagine North of Main addresses the crowd at the announcement of the funding for a new home buyer incentive program for the North of Main. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE 

The goal is to encourage more owner-occupied homes in the neighborhood, said Mendoza as she stood outside a home on Fox Street listed for $199,000, one of only a few for sale in the neighborhood. 

"When (the owners) are living here, they care what the yard looks like," said Richard Healy, president at Foster Healey Real Estate Inc. 

Buyers need a signed purchase and sales agreement with no more than 90 days closing and must live in the house for at least two years. 

Unless the buyer moves out of the house before the end of these two years, the grant does not need to be repaid, Mendoza said. 

People can apply through NewVue Communities by contacting Mendoza at 978-400-0166 or 



James and Beatrice Momanyi, who live with their four children in a home on Johnson Street, used an earlier programs offered through NewVue to buy the property five years ago. 

"I love Fitchburg," said Beatrice Momanyi. "I love the city. I love the home." 

City Director of Housing and Development Liz Murphy said home buyers can combine this grant with other assistance programs, such as the city's Buy It/ Fix It home buyer and rehabilitation program. 

Follow Elizabeth Dobbins on Twitter @DobbinsSentinel.


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