“I wanted to provide a safe home for my son”

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Joshua Poitras is a single father and a veteran. He served in Afghanistan from 2010-2011.

Joshua purchased a four-family house in January of 2020. “I wanted to provide a safe home for my son so I inquired about getting some financial help to have the house de-leaded.”

The house was built in 1860 and the exterior was last painted in 1978. Joshua said “Loose paint was falling off.” He also wanted to bring his house into compliance so that the apartments would be lead safe for his current and future tenants.

Joshua contacted The City of Lowell’s Division of Planning and Development for information about MassHousing’s “Get the Lead Out Program”. He was referred to Ed Alcantara at the Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership for assistance with his application. “Ed was extremely knowledgeable in explaining the program and putting the paperwork together.  I couldn’t have done this without his help.” said Joshua.

Soon after his application was started, the COVID 19 pandemic set in but the project kept moving.

The entire project was a collaboration. The City of Lowell’s Department of Planning and Development conducted a review of the lead inspection report and did a work write up. Once the scope of work was completed, the project was put out to bid. Joshua got two loans to get the work completed. One loan was for the lead abatement and the other was a home improvement loan. The loan for the lead program required a 0% down payment. There are no monthly payments. The loan is paid back upon sale of the house. The structural repairs were done with a second low interest loan.

Mill City Communities Investments (MCCI) was the non-profit organization which put the loans through MassHousing. “Steve Maguire of MCCI did a great job on the lending side.” says Joshua.

David Foss and Sons, LLC, was the de-leading contractor. They sided the house with vinyl, wrapped the windows with aluminum and de-leaded the interiors. “David was detailed, very thorough and neat and kept the historical character on the woodwork.” said Joshua.

In addition to having a beautiful lead-safe home, Joshua gets a tax credit of $1,500 per unit.  He says “I have a lead safe home and don’t have to worry about anyone being poisoned.”

Congratulations to Joshua and thank you to all the professionals who helped him along the way. It takes a village.

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