I've lived in Worcester my entire life and I'm looking to buy again. Stephanie is so right as far as the areas you were questioning. Worcester is funny in that way - you can have a few awesome streets and then a total nightmare just a couple of minutes down the road. If you are looking to live near Umass, definitely avoid the areas you mentioned - however, there are many nice streets & neighborhoods close to Umass. There are a bunch of little streets off of Commonwealth Ave that have a bit of a towny feel to them. Yet you would be very close to Umass and it's so convenient to Hamilton AND Grafton Streets. You can also check out some of the streets off of Lake Ave. You do have a lot of options. Good luck!!
yeah be very, very cautious. I cannot stress enough how dangerous that area is (I am a homeowner not a real estate agent so I can legally say that) and to make sure you take a look carefully before signing anything. Drug raids, sirens and all manner of nonsense are pretty common over that way.
Thanks so much for your help!