Affordable Housing Projects Funding Available in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield's Affordable Housing Trust (AHT) is seeking applications for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that have been allocated to the Trust for the purpose of creating affordable housing opportunities for Pittsfield residents.

The AHT has $500,000 in ARPA funding that it is seeking to award to affordable housing projects in Pittsfield that are eligible based upon the requirements.

The application process is a two-part process. Interested parties should submit a letter of interest to the Board to be reviewed at a meeting of the Trust. The initial review will determine the project's eligibility. If the Board determines the project is eligible, a full application for funding must be completed.

The Letter of Interest should provide a brief description of the proposed affordable housing project, how the project will meet the ARPA requirements, and a timeline for completion.

American Rescue Plan Act funds can be used for affordable housing production and preservation
of affordable housing. There are four core requirements:

1. Resident income restrictions:
a. 80 percent AMI or lower for projects located in the City's Qualified Census Tracts (See attached map- census tracts 9001, 9002, 9006)
b. 65 percent AMI or lower for projects located outside of the City's Qualified Census Tracts

2. Projects must be deed restricted as affordable housing for a minimum of 20 years
3. Tenant Protections
4. Housing Quality Standards

Funds can be used for new construction, substantial rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, predevelopment and site work, and land acquisition for affordable housing.

Either non-profit or for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate a capacity to create or preserve affordable housing opportunities for low to moderate income households. Eligible projects must be located in Pittsfield.

Proposals that address priority needs, as described in the Affordable Housing Needs Assessment, will be given a strong preference. Other considerations include projects that demonstrate community support, capacity of the development team to complete the project within the proposed timeline, projects that leverage other sources of funding and projects that address an identified need in the City of Pittsfield. Projects that incorporate sustainable development principles and
design that matches the character of the neighborhood are strongly encouraged.

The Trust will review Letters of Interest at their monthly meeting(s). These meetings occur on the third Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. If the Board determines that the project meets both the requirements of the ARPA funds and priorities for the Trust, applicants will be invited to submit a full application to the Board. Full Applications will be reviewed at the Boards's monthly meeting and applicants may be invited to present their project to the Board. The Trust expects to begin reviewing Letters of Interest at their meeting on July 17, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. This process will occur at each meeting until funds are awarded.

If awarded funds, ARPA funds must be fully expended their ARPA funds by the end of 2026. Letters of Interest should be submitted to For more information about the Trust, please see the City of Pittsfield's website under the Community Development tab.


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Pittsfield Starbucks Closed Temporarily

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff

A sign outside the coffee shop assures customers the closure is only temporary. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Your alarm goes off, you get ready, and you leave for school, work, or whatever your appointment a little bit early to get a cup of coffee to start your day, only to find that the Pittsfield Starbucks, located at  555 Hubbard Ave., is closed. 
The sign has been removed, and the drive-through is blocked, but Starbucks coffee addicts need not worry — this closure is only temporary. 
The coffee shop closed its doors temporarily on July 7 to undergo a standard renovation with the chain's new Siren System, a Starbucks spokesperson said. 
According to the signage, the reopening date is projected to be Aug. 21. 
According to its website, the Siren System is part of the chain's Starbucks Reinvention plan, which aims to improve the experience for partners and staff by responding to changing needs and increasing demands. 
"As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers," the spokesperson said. 
The chain's article on unveiling its innovations said, "Over the past few years, the number of cold beverages ordered has surpassed the number of hot drinks year-round. And, two in three drinks ordered have requested customizations such as extra espresso shots and flavorings."
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