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Governor Welcomes Affordable Housing Development in Pittsfield

Today in Pittsfield the Governor of Massachusetts joined local and state officials to announce the opening of a brand new affordable housing building set to help revitalize a working class neighborhood. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Governor Deval Patrick stood in the community room of the newly opened Rice Silk Mill, a 45-unit affordable housing building in Pittsfield’s Morningside neighborhood to pay tribute to the team work it took to make the project a reality.

The Governor’s administration helped support the development of the Rice Silk Mill with over 3.5 million dollars. The project also received federal low-income housing tax credits, state funding from Community Development Action Grants, the MassDevelopment Brownfields Tax Credit, historic tax credits, and other affordable housing subsidies.

Clark Ziegler of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership also spoke at the event. His organization is a quasi-public agency that helped invest in the project.

The newly renovated building was first opened in the late 19th century, and now the old mill building will provide 45 new housing units of affordable housing, and also will help bring new life to Pittsfield’s working-class Morningside neighborhood. Gail Krumpholz, chairperson of the Morningside Initiative says that project is more than just a building.

Also announced at the event was state funding for the Onota/Howard project, also in Pittsfield.  That project will see 39-units of affordable housing and 10-units of retail space located in the city’s downtown. The planned project is the first in the Commonwealth to receive support from the Housing Development Incentive Program. The HDIP grants are aimed at supporting economic development in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities. Governor Deval Patrick says the redevelopment of both buildings is just an example of how the Gateway Cities program is integral to breathing new life into 24 post-industrial communities for the next generation.