Higher Ground and Williamstown Affordable Housing Committee to Host Public Meeting

The Housing Committee for Higher Ground and the Affordable Housing Committee of Williamstown have been planning a public meeting for Tuesday, April 3, 7-8 p.m., at the Williams Inn. Below is the text from the press release.

Affordable Housing to be topic of public meeting

Williamstown, MA – A public informational meeting to examine how articles up for vote at Williamstown’s Town Meeting could increase affordable housing will take place at The Williams Inn, 7-8 p.m., on Tuesday, April 3. The meeting is co-sponsored by the Williamstown Affordable Housing Committee, the Williamstown Housing Authority, the Williamstown League of Women Voters, and Higher Ground, a non-profit organization serving flood survivors and working toward community housing solutions in the area. All Williamstown residents are encouraged to attend.

To be voted on at the May 15 Town Meeting are proposals to award $107,500 in Community Preservation Act funds for technical services to evaluate sites in Williamstown for affordable housing; to establish an Affordable Housing Trust; to award an additional $200,000 in CPA funds as initial funding of the trust; and to award $80,000 in CPA funds for predevelopment work by Berkshire Housing Development Corp., which seeks to add 20-25 units of senior housing at Proprietors Fields.

Additionally, the Williamstown Planning Board is asking for bylaw revisions to allow properties zoned for single-family use to be adapted to accommodate a second household.

Before the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene, half of the approximate 450 low-cost homes in Williamstown were in The Spruces Mobile Home Park. Up to 160 of 225 homes at The Spruces are permanently uninhabitable. The remaining 65 continue to be at risk of flooding.

Community housing is housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income individuals and families – working, disabled or retired – through a variety of housing options. Homes may be single-family or multi-family, with construction costs subsidized by public funds so that rents and purchase prices can be affordable. Area affordable housing communities are fully occupied, with waiting lists equal to the number of existing units and waiting times as long as 3-5 years.

The Williams Inn is located on the Town Green at the northern intersection of Rts. 2 and 7 in Williamstown. Refreshments will be provided by Junior Girl Scout Troop 40036. For more information, contact wmst.housing@gmail.com.

Higher Ground on Willinet

The team at Higher Ground has been hard at work producing a tv show for Willinet to share information with the community about what we’ve been up to. At the time of writing, episode one, which focuses on the experiences Strafford, Vermont had in dealing with the disaster in their town, has already been shown. However, it can still be seen online here.

The second episode can be viewed here. We’ll post additional videos as they come out.