Units of affordable housing in Berkshire County need not be created with a one size fits all mindset. Affordable for who? Very often affordable housing is very costly, even excessively so for its creators or municipalities.
Ernest-Jones was speaking in response to a draft warrant article that would essentially replace the term "mobile home" in the zoning bylaw with the more contemporary term "manufactured home" and allow said structures in all residential areas subject to the same rules as any other home.
It is designated as permanent supportive housing, which combines affordable housing and support services to build independent living skills and connect people with health, treatment, and employment resources.
Last week, Alexander Carlisle appeared before the board of the town's Affordable Housing Trust to seek its support for the project in anticipation of an approval process that will involve the town waiving zoning regulations to allow the development.
The first round of award proposals announced last fall included funding for the future emergency homeless shelter located at the First United Methodist Church on Fenn Street and Mayor Linda Tyer reported that there are additional housing initiatives underway.
The effort began almost two years ago when the entities partnered to address the countywide housing crisis they were hearing about from businesses and communities. A practitioners group consisting of local planners, realtors, bankers, developers, and nonprofit employees was assembled and got to work.
Williamstown resident Michael Goodwin, the current president of the board of Louison House, told the board that the non-profit has secured $175,000 in state funds toward a $200,000 project to establish a shelter at the Mount Royal Inn on Route 8 in Adams.
The manse will now offer permanent housing in two apartments on the second floor and a handicapped accessible unit on the first floor as well as emergency shelter for teenagers and offices for Louison House.
Starting next week, dozens of families will begin new lives in a series of brand-new townhouses that flank the four-story former mill building that has been converted to apartments. Officials hope to move people into the "cube," the converted mill, in September and October.