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Volunteers To Fix Up Homes In Holyoke

revitalizeCDCBeech.jpg
WAMC
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  An organization dedicated to preserving the housing stock in western Massachusetts is repairing a dozen row houses this week on a single street in Holyoke.

        Revitalize Community Development Corporation has signed-up about 200 volunteers who will descend on several blocks of Beech Street Thursday to help make the home improvements.

   The scope of the work includes fixing leaky roofs, masonry repairs, replacing steps and porches, and energy-efficiency upgrades.

           Neil Doling said the repairs will allow him to stay in the house his family has owned for 65 years.

   " I'm overwhelmed that I am getting this opportunity to save my home because it was falling down around me," Doling said while standing on his new front porch that was installed by a home improvement contractor ahead of Thursday's blitz-build on the street.

   The city of Holyoke gave $100,000 in federal community development block grant funds for the home repair initiative.

    To qualify, homeowners had to meet income guidelines.  The selected property-owners include low-income families with children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and military veterans.

    This the first time Revitalize CDC has held its popular  " Green N Fit Block Rebuild" in Holyoke.

    A volunteer rebuild  involving thousands of participants working on dozens of homes has been staged for the last four years in Springfield's Old Hill Neighborhood.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.