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The 'cube,' what was left of the Photech building, has been stripped out and footings put in place to its south for 41 affordable housing units.
Updated September 01, 2020 10:20AM

Williamstown Affordable Housing Project on Cole Avenue Underway

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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The construction of the affordable housing units is expected to be completed next year. 

This article updated on Sept. 1 to correct the contact information for the office manager at Berkshire Housing Development Corportation.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The construction of 41 units of affordable housing at the former Photech mill site is well underway, and completion is anticipated next June, according to the head of Berkshire Housing Developoment Corp.

 
The town transferred the property, which sat on the town's books for years after a tax taking, and contributed cash toward the financing of the 330 Cole Ave. development.
 
When it is finished in the middle of 2021, the project will include 27 housing units restricted to residents making up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Fourteen units will be reserved for residents making up to 30 percent of the AMI.
 
The project will include apartments in the three-story former mill building, known colloquially as "the cube," and town homes being built to the east of the cube toward Cole Avenue.
 
BHDC President Elton Ogden said this week the plan is to have both phases of the development completed at the same time, but that timeline is subject to change.
 
Ogden said he expects to start accepting applications six months before the opening date — this December or January if the current timeline holds.
 
In the meantime, Berkshire Housing is welcoming interested potential residents to reach out to the Pittsfield developer.
 
"We would be happy to take names and contact information of people who are interested in an apartment at Cole Avenue," Ogden said. "Those people would then be notified when actual applications are being accepted."
 
Interested parties can contact Linda Pensivy at 413-499-1630, Ext. 100, or email her at lpensivy@berkshirehousing.com.

Tags: affordable housing,   

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Snub by Select Board Leads to Resignation on Williamstown Equity Committee

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — An attempt by the Select Board to extend an olive branch to the town's diversity committee Monday went terribly wrong and ended with one member of the DIRE Committee announcing his resignation.
 
Bilal Ansari later said he would reconsider and pray on his decision about whether to continue with the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee after he received an apology from the vice chair of the Select Board.
 
Ansari was offended by a decision not to engage with a DIRE member while the board was discussing how to improve communications with the advisory group the Select Board created last summer.
 
Andy Hogeland, who ran Monday's meeting in place of Chair Jane Patton, who was out of town, said during discussion of the agenda item labeled "DIRE communications" that while the Select Board has taken actions in line with DIRE recommendations over the past year, the board should have acknowledged the equity group's resolutions publicly.
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