14-unit sober house planned; Marston Way property eyed.

Byline: Lee Hammel

WORCESTER - Spectrum Health Systems is planning a sober house in the Elm Park neighborhood.

The plan is for 14 units of affordable housing at 7 Marston Way for men and women. Spectrum House did not return numerous calls seeking comment since last week.

But the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency said last week that Spectrum Health was awarded $75,000 of the $295,000 that the agency approved for preservation or creation of affordable sober housing across the state. The money comes from Center for Community Recovery Innovations Inc., a nonprofit subsidiary of MassHousing that has awarded more than $4 million in grants for 1,000 units of substance-free housing statewide for men, women, families, veterans, the homeless and ex-offenders.

Spectrum Health recently bought the property, which is one street over from the lodging house at 26-28 Dayton St. purchased three years ago by South Middlesex Opportunity Council to help reduce the census at the People In Peril shelter.

According to MassHousing, the property Spectrum bought in the Becker College area was a large, privately owned rooming house in disrepair. Spectrum is completing major renovations and improvements to the property's interior and exterior.

Significant remodeling, plumbing, roofing and electrical work have been completed. Handicap accessibility, basement windows, new siding, and renovations to individual units and bathrooms are planned.

It will be sober rental housing for men and women, and no alcohol or drug use will be allowed on the property, according to MassHousing. An outpatient clinic is within minutes of the property, the agency said.

"Spectrum is a major provider of substance abuse...

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