Nuestra CDC begins its fight against blight

On the Roxbury-Dorchester border around Quincy and Dacia streets, the battle to stem blight caused by foreclosed and empty properties has begun. Nuestra Community Development Corporation acquired its first foreclosed three-decker at 21 Dacia, just inside the Dorchester border and right in the middle of one of three "Foreclosure Intervention Team" priority areas chosen by the city.

"We need to buy one building every month or two," said Nuestra director David Price this week.

The CDC hopes to buy around 12 properties in the FIT area in the next 18 months, renovate them and sell them off as affordable condos or hold them as rentals while the market recovers. The work is made possible by a $3.5 million line of credit from the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and will likely be boosted by some fraction of the $8.4 million of federal money that the city's Department of Neighborhood Development hopes to begin distributing in January.

Inside the Dacia/Quincy FIT area, some 33 foreclosures have taken place in 2007 and the first eight months of 2008, and 121 more are in process, possibly affecting over 300 housing units.

Price said Nuestra's plan also includes crime prevention strategies, job training and youth work.

"The neighborhoods have accomplished a lot but now it's all at risk," said Price. "Nothing hurts a neighborhood like boarded up buildings."