Pittsfield Awarded $2.85M for Affordable Housing

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PITTSFIELD - The state has pledged nearly $2.85 million in funding toward two projects offering affordable housing in Pittsfield.

The combination of private and public funds awarded by the state Department of Housing and Community Development was announced this week by Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, and Rep. Christopher N. Speranzo, D-Pittsfield.

In total, the state agency announced its intention to provide more than $100 million in assistance to support two dozen developments that will yield 908 new rental apartments in 21 communities across the state. Some 771 of those apartments will offer long-term affordable rents for low- and moderate-income families.     

The New Amsterdam Project on Bradford Street in Pittsfield will receive $1 million in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a $525,000 in Federal HOME Funds and $750,000 Housing Stabilization Fund for a total of $2.75 million toward low-income housing.

The developer, New Amsterdam Project LP, plans to build a 67-unit housing complex on Bradford Street that will also feature retail and gallery space. The project offers solutions to the housing gap often noted in Berkshire County by providing a attractive option to families, young professionals, artists and others. City leaders hope New Amsterdam will encourage people to take a second look at Pittsfield's downtown as they consider their housing options.

"This project is another leap forward in Pittsfield's revitalization. Once it is constructed and when families and young professionals start to move in, New Amsterdam will serve as a residential gateway to the city's downtown," said Downing.

The project has long enjoyed the support of Pittsfield's leaders, on both the state and local level. Downing and Mayor James M. Ruberto arranged a meeting with DHCD and the project proponents in July to discuss its merits and importance to the city.

"This project provides needed workforce housing and creates an additional link between our revitalized downtown and the Westside neighborhood," said Ruberto.

Beth A. Pearson, principal of New Amsterdam Partnership LP, expressed her gratitude for the help and support she received while working to advance her vision. 

"I have to express my huge thanks to my wonderful development team as well as to the guidance and support provided by Senator Downing, Representative Speranzo and Mayor Ruberto," said Pearson. "I look forward to breaking ground to provide this crucial housing in the Berkshires." 

The balance of the state and federal funding, $569,999 will be awarded to Berkshire County ARC's Traumatic Brain Injury Residence. The money comes from the Housing Stabilization Fund.

Berkshire County ARC is constructing a single-family, ranch-style home for six people suffering from a traumatic brain injury. This funding completes budget requirements to build the home, which will be designed by native son and Taconic High School graduate Barry Buchinski of Blackstone Block Architects. 

Buchinski designed another Berkshire County ARC residential facility on First Street.

"Berkshire County ARC has a strong track record for providing important services to the community and it is wonderful to see them receive the necessary funds to get this project off the ground," said Speranzo.

Berkshire County ARC Executive Director Kenneth Singer said, "We are thrilled to move forward with this housing project and to serve these people with specialized staff and around-the-clock care. We appreciate all the support we received from Senator Downing, Representative Speranzo and all our elected officials."

"We are pleased the commonwealth is providing critical financial support to two organizations that have proven track records for developing high-quality housing in the city of Pittsfield," said Ruberto.
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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 23-29

This weekend is your last chance to see the 2019 Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing. Performances are held on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. on the First Street Common. Featuring the witty on-again, off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice's cousin Hero and the soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero's voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. FREE, donations suggested.
The Shaker Barn Music Series presents singer-songwriter Nellie McKay. The deep, and deeply funny, McKay has paid tribute to the disparate likes of Doris Day, transgender jazz pianist Billy Tipton, environmentalist Rachel Carson and comedian Joan Rivers. Wallace Field opens. 7:30 p.m.
FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Dan Gingras at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Todd McLeod at Rusty Anchor | FRI Mr. Doubtfire at Mission | FRI-SAT Wine, Cheese & Trees at Bousquet | SAT Latin Night at The A | SAT Pete Boyd at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT The Damaged & More at Crossroads | SAT Acoustic Gravel & Jessica Wilson at Rusty Anchor | SUN-MON Karen Mason at Barrington Stage | MON Jazz Night at Mission | TUE Entrepreneurial Meet-up at Thistle & Mirth | WED Melissa Massery at Methuselah | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU The Picky B's at Mission | THU Jessica Wilson at Proprietor's Lodge

Children ages 6 and older are invited to learn to paint a sparkly unicorn on a 16x20 canvas at Berkshire Paint & Sip. All painting materials, instruction, light snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the $25 fee. 1-3 p.m. at 305 North Street.
FRI FREE Fun Friday at Berkshire Museum FRI WeeMuse: Adventures at Berkshire Museum FRI Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at 18 Degrees (formerly Berkshire Children & Families) SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum SAT Kitchen Ka-Boom! at Berkshire Museum SAT Back to School Event at Berkshire Dream Center SAT Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum SAT Robbins Zust Marionette Show at Dottie's SAT da Vinci After Hours at Berkshire Museum SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum | MON Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum TUE WeeMuse: Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum WED Gallery Scavenger Hunts at Berkshire Museum THU Farm Friends at Hancock Shaker Village | THU Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum THU Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum 
SUN Restorative Yoga w/CBD Massage at Radiance
Indulge in the ultimate self-care experience, combining restorative yoga with CBD massage, at Radiance Yoga. Shannon will lead you through comfortable yoga postures and licensed massage therapists will guide you deeper into relaxation with massage using Vermont Farmacy's Herbal CBD Salve. 6 p.m.
FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Running Center | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Family YMCA | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness FRI-THU Various Classes at Radiance Yoga | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Salsa FRI-THU Various Classes at Pilates Fit | SAT Sunrise Yoga on the Deck at Rusty Anchor | SUN Goat Yoga at Hancock Shaker Village SUN Yoga Class at Tyler Street Lab MON Zumba Class at Tyler Street Lab THU Outdoor Yoga at Onota Lake
SAT+ George Gershwin Alone at The Colonial
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