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HAP is helping to rebuild Maple-High Six Corners

HAP Executive Director Peter Gagliard speaks at the Chester Street home that is on the market. Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs
By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD HAP is making a considerable impact on the Maple High Six Corners neighborhood with its construction of new homes.

And the impact will increase later this summer when the housing agency demolishes the former Spruce Manor Nursing Home. The long-abandoned health care facility is at the intersection of Central and Spruce Streets.

Tom Rossmassler, the project manager for HAP, explained last week that HAP will tear down the nursing home building and secure the site in anticipation of beginning construction next summer on seven "homeownership units" three free-standing homes and two duplexes.

A section of the property will be reserved for a community garden. The agency is now securing funding for the construction of the homes, which Rossmassler said would be built to the specifications of the Green Building Council and would be more energy efficient than homes constructed under the Energy Star standards.

HAP began building in Maple High Six Corners in April 2007. The agency has been very active in the adjoining Old Hill neighborhood in creating single-family homes for first-time homebuyers.

In Maple High, the agency has five homes for sale, one under contract and two under construction.

The agency's executive director, Peter Gagliardi, told Reminder Publications the foreclosure crisis means the agency must make a greater effort to bring first-time buyers to its homes.

Gagliardi made his comments at 68 Chester St., one of the homes HAP has finished building in the neighborhood and is now for sale. HAP is building a home on 18 Chester and has sold a home at 52 Chester.

Buyers must fall within the first-time homeowner income standards ranging from $1,450 for a single person to $68,650 for a family of six.

The homes feature three bedrooms, one and one-half baths, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, a partially finished basement and a gas heating system. The homes are priced at $110,000.

HAP is part of a regional coalition working with present homeowners who are trying to save their homes from foreclosure and trying to bring new buyers to homes at the same time.

In some cases, Gagliardi said the present homeowners whom the agency is helping are advised to put their home on the market before foreclosure problems begin. He added there are now realtors especially trained to successfully market these pre-foreclosure properties.

Commenting on the sluggish real estate market, Gagliardi said the agency will "probably bring houses to market a little more slowly."

Linda Langevin of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council said the council "was delighted to have HAP come in [the neighborhood.]"

"I can't say enough about these guys," she added.

More for information on the HAP homes call Debi McPartlin at 233-1731.