North Adams Housing Authority Delays RAD Conversation to Spring

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Housing Authority's RAD conversation will likely be delayed until spring because of lingering unit construction.
The authority's Executive Director Jennifer Hohn told the commissioners Monday that with delays in actually receiving a building permit from the city and supply issues, the Rental Assistance Demonstration conversion will likely be pushed out to the spring of 2022.
That's if they are able to repair and renovate some offline units.  
"It is unfortunate because we should be housing people in those units, but our hands are tied," Hohn said. "There isn't much we can do."
Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, allows HUD housing authorities to move their units to the Section 8 platform and to leverage debt and equity for re-investment without affecting tenant rights and rents, or housing authority control.
The full conversion cannot happen until some offline units are brought back online. Some units need to undergo asbestos abatement while others are still damaged from the Greylock Apartment fire last year.
She said the city should hand over the building permit next week, however, there are still difficulties getting building supplies.
"They are hoping that once they get in there and can actually work this should only take a couple of months," she said. "... Everything is taking forever to get here. We have materials somewhere in California and we were supposed to have them already."
Information technology consultant Jason Morin reported that he hopes to release a request for proposals for broadband early next year.
"Once we have it all together, then we can move forward and see who submits," he said.
The authority plans to offer free internet to tenants but it needs to establish the proper infrastructure.  
The commission reorganized and Colin Todd will continue to serve as chairman and Kate Merrigan will serve as vice chairman. 

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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Madame President. Mr. Speaker. Leaders Tarr and Jones. Members of the House and Senate. Members of Congress. Fellow Constitutional Officers. Members of the Governor's Council.
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