Neighborhood Revitalization:
Restoring Hope, One Block at a Time

Promoting vibrant, diverse communities is an important part of our mission – and often relates directly to creating opportunities for the families and individuals we serve. There is no better example of our commitment to neighborhood revitalization than our intense involvement in the Old Hill neighborhood of Springfield.

Old Hill Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

For several years, HAPHousing has played a key role in collaborative efforts to strategically revitalize Springfield’s Old Hill, a neighborhood once filled with reasonably priced owner-occupied homes but suffering from significant disinvestment.

Launched in 2003 as the result of a master planning process sponsored by the City of Springfield and Springfield College, Old Hill’s revitalization effort incorporated as a key element the commitment to increase homeownership.

Three nonprofit housing developers, HAPHousing, Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services and Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity came together with the Old Hill Neighborhood Council to form the Old Hill Revitalization Collaborative. Together, we committed to developing over several years 100 new or rehabilitated, energy-efficient homes for first-time homebuyers.  Each home replaces a vacant and abandoned structure or utilizes a vacant lot, reducing neighborhood blight and bringing new homeowners to Old Hill.

To facilitate the acquisition of key parcels, the Collaborative created a Limited Liability Corporation. HAPHousing acts as its manager and obtained a $1.5 million loan at a very favorable rate with a guarantee from Springfield College.

This commitment is part of a larger effort, the Partnership for the Renewal of Old Hill, which has more than 45 partners and supporters working on a variety of improvements to public safety, educational opportunities and infrastructure such as parks and streets.

While the City has undertaken an aggressive demolition effort and HAPHousing and its partners have been successful in turning vacant properties into new homes, the increase in foreclosures threatens revitalization efforts. In response, HAPHousing secured funding and is actively re-developing key foreclosed properties.  As of June 2012, HAPHousing and its partners had produced 45 new homes in Old Hill, eliminating eyesores. 

Click here for more information about HAPHousing homes for sale or contact Melphy Antuna at 413-233-1731 or mantuna@haphousing.org.