Vol. IV No. 8 4/15/2023
Stockbridge Affordable Housing Trust
Report from the Chair, Ranne P. Warner
The Stockbridge Affordable Housing Trust was formed under a Declaration of Trust by vote of the Board of Selectmen on July 28, 2022, in accordance with the Town Meeting vote June 12, 2021. Last fall the Selectmen appointed Janet Ackerman, McCaela Donovan, Donald Eaton, Mark Mills, Ranne P. Warner, Elisabeth Wheeler, and Patrick White as the Trust members.
The Trust's mission is to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing for the benefit of Stockbridge residents. In the past two years the Stockbridge Community Preservation Committee (CPC) by vote of the Town Meeting has allocated $200,000 to the Trust to support this mission.
Officers are Ranne P. Warner, Chair, Janet Ackerman, Vice Chair and Elisabeth Wheeler, Secretary.
Currently Stockbridge meets the MA requirement that each Commonwealth community have 10 percent of its housing stock designated as Affordable, which means that these units receive public funds. Trust members have taken responsibility for meeting and learning the needs of the 113 affordable housing units currently existing in Stockbridge.
Pine Woods (30 family housing units) — Elisabeth Wheeler
Heaton Court (51 senior housing units) — Donald Eaton
Riverbrook (22 units for women) — McCaela Donovan
A major focus of the Trust's work in its first 6 months has been to understand the significant repair work needed at Pine Woods. Recently, the CPC has voted to recommend to the Town Meeting that $50,000 of CPC funds be allocated to the Trust for the Structural and Engineering studies that are needed at Pine Woods. The Trust will collaborate with Construct, the owner of Pine Woods, to complete this work. In addition, the CPC has voted to recommend to the Town Meeting that $50,000 be allocated to the Trust for emergency repairs as they are needed at Pine Woods.
In addition, Janet Ackerman and McCaela Donovan have identified, and the Trust approved a consultant to prepare a Housing Production Plan. This study is beginning this month and will identify needs and opportunities for further Affordable and Workforce Housing in Stockbridge. It should be complete by the fa2023 and will include community meetings to discuss this work.
Mark Mills organized and the Trust hosted a meeting of all five (5) Affordable Housing Trusts in Berkshire County on March 16. In addition to Stockbridge, Trusts exist in Williamstown, Pittsfield, Lenox and Great Barrington. Speakers from State and County Affordable Housing organizations spoke about funding and informational resources available to the Trusts and all Trust members shared the activities underway in their respective communities.
Editor's Note: Stockbridge Updates is trying a new format for reporting on Town meetings: "Key Takeaways" rather than "Notes from" our meetings. Let us know which you prefer.
Photo: Jay Rhind