Northern Berkshire Habitat Seeking Applicants for New Home

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity is ready to accept applications for its newest house being constructed at 14 Maple St. 
 
This is one of two homes the nonprofit organization is building on the sites. Ground was broken on the first home in July 2019 and the family chosen to occupy it are moving in this month. 
 
The second home will be a three-bedroom, 1.5 bath building. The foundation is already poured.
 
Applications are available now through Oct. 22; applications and information may be requested by contacting 413-664-4440, office@northberkshirehabitat.org or the website.
 
To qualify, applicants must:
  • currently live in overcrowded or unsafe conditions or be paying more than 50 percent of household income for housing.
  • be able to pay a low-interest mortgage, including having a stable and adequate income within Habitat's income limits, as well as having a low debt load and a positive credit rating. 
  • be willing to partner with Habitat, including completing 250 hours of sweat equity per adult family member on the home (or other Habitat projects).
  • The home will be priced at no more than $147,000, with a final price and mortgage term set to ensure the selected family's housing costs do not exceed 30 percent of their total income. The home will be available to families with incomes up to 60 percent of area median income based on family size.
Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity's mission to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing in the Northern Berkshires, making communities better places for all. 

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Historic Store at Five Corners Reopens in Williamstown

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Under new ownership and management, the Store at Five Corners reopened Tuesday morning for the first time in more than two years. 

The store and cafe, built in 1770 and located in the town's Five Corners Historic District, had been closed since July 2020. The 252-year-old building, originally a tavern, went through several recent owners before being purchased by the nonprofit Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association in January of this year. 

"It took us a few months to get it to where it is right now but I feel like our hard work paid off," said store operator Corey Wentworth. "I feel like it's really nice in here." 

The association had done an email survey of residents in October that had an 85 percent return, with most giving the store a high rating for its importance to themselves and the community and that it remain independent. The nonprofit, first working through the South Williamstown Community Association, has been working to raise the more than $1 million needed to purchase the property and secure its future. 

The stewardship association chose Wentworth as the store's new operator in April. He has several years of experience in restaurants, including the Salty Dog and Flour Bakery and Café in Boston, Duckfat and Fore Street Restaurant in Portland, Maine, and Tourists resort in North Adams.

There were some renovations, Wentworth said, to get the building ready for reopening day. Additionally, he noted that works from local artists are displayed on the walls across the store. 

"So far, it seems like, what we have been working toward, is working," he said. 

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