Roxbury | Project with Purpose Begins

For the second project of This Old House's 30th Anniversary Season, the crew takes on an issue that's top of mind in the country: foreclosures. Partnering with the City of Boston and local non-profit Nuestra Comunidad, they will take a foreclosed and abandoned two-family house from the 1870s, and turn it into two units of affordable housing in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Local general contractor David Lopes shows host Kevin O'Connor just how extensive the damage to the old house is, and they quickly get to work demolishing the parts that can't be saved, including a three-story rear extension, which has rotted through from roof to floor. Joining the project will be apprentices from YouthBuild Boston looking to earn jobs in the building trades. In order to recruit two young carpenters from the program to work with the crew, master carpenter Norm Abram visits YouthBuild's annual carpentry challenge. Back at the house, after more necessary demolition, certified arborist Jack Kelly and his crew arrive to remove a giant dead tree that had fallen from the project house yard onto the neighbor's garage. Renovating the house will be a great challenge, but the City feels it will make a statement of hope and respect in a neighborhood that has been plagued by foreclosures.


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