Bryan Cohen Jun. 28, 2013, 6:10pm

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Thursday that her office will award $5 million in grants to housing organizations throughout the state to promote the rehabilitation of abandoned and distressed properties.

Coakley's office will utilize funds recovered through the nationwide state-federal settlement over unlawful foreclosures to create the Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership Fund.

The fund will help local communities to mitigate the impacts of the foreclosure crisis.

Coakley's office chose four organizations to receive $2 million to administer through their region.

An additional $3 million will be made available at a later time after Coakley's office monitors the progress of selected organizations.

"Communities across the commonwealth are still struggling with the impacts of the foreclosure crisis, as many distressed neighborhoods are in dire need of revitalization," the attorney general said in a statement. "These grants will provide funding to organizations that will continue to help promote rehabilitation efforts statewide."

The Chelsea Restoration Corporation, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, city of Fall River and Worcester Community Housing Resources Inc. each will receive $500,000 to distribute to eligible municipalities during the two-year grant period.

The fund is meant to increase the capacity of receivers to finance the rehabilitation of the state's abandoned properties. It is part of Coakley's Abandoned Housing Initiative, a program with the goal of assisting communities to target problem properties and bring them back up to acceptable standards.

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