City Saves One Home While Another Demolished

Brian Langlois' boyhood home was demolished this year.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini celebrates a home rehabilitation project at 342 Primrose Street.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini celebrates a home rehabilitation project at 342 Primrose Street.

A previously abandoned home at 342 Primrose Street has been transformed “from a dilapidated house into a gem.” A School Street home was not as lucky.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini issued a press release after he said he attended the opening of the rehabilitated house. “The owner of the property lost their home to foreclosure and the out of state bank that took it over did nothing to maintain the property,” the release said. “The home became an illegal dumping ground and had complaints of rodents and other sanitary violations.”

“The receivership program is a proven success, it targets abandoned homes and identifies a receiver to bring the home back to life without spending any taxpayer money,” Fiorentini said.

Another Home Wasn’t so Lucky

The former owner of a School Street property said Haverhill’s code enforcement team did not hasten rehabilitation of his house, but rather delayed it. Speaking on WHAV’s Open Mike Show, Brian Langlois said in June he lost a buyer for his 36 School Street property when the city condemned it.

“It shouldn’t have been on the list.” He explained he was “actively working with a buyer way before that (when) the list was published in the newspaper and the city knew all about it.”

As a result of the city’s listing, Langlois said, the original sale fell through. He ultimately found a buyer, but the home was demolished.

Langlois grew up in the neighborhood and often remarks about the urban renewal demolition programs of the 1960s just steps from his boyhood home. Now, his old homestead will make way for condominiums.

WHAV did not contact Langlois for further comment since he is preparing for his late wife’s funeral service tomorrow, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 So. Main Street, Leslie J. (Bond) Langlois, 61, passed away Sunday, August 24.

The receivership program was conceived two and half years ago to address abandoned homes to prevent the lack of care by banks and to keep neighborhoods thriving.