July 22, 2020 — Boston Capital is investing in the development of Cole Avenue, a 41 -unit affordable housing development for families in Williamstown, Massachusetts. This investment represents Boston Capital’s second partnership with Berkshire Housing Development Corporation (BHDC), a non-profit developer based in Pittsfield, MA.
“With our partner Elton Ogden and the folks at Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, we’re thrilled to be part of this team creating much-needed affordable housing for families in Williamstown,” said Jack Manning, president and CEO of Boston Capital. “COVID-19 has highlighted the dire need for affordable housing in Massachusetts and across the country. It’s critical that we continue to create and preserve high-quality affordable housing so that families have a safe place to call home.”
Located in northwest Massachusetts near the Vermont and New York borders, Cole Avenue will feature the new construction of 41 units for families on a 4.9-acre site. The proposed development includes the gut rehab of a four-story former industrial facility, along with the new construction of three two-story attached townhome structures. Upon completion, Cole Avenue will offer 11 one-bedroom, 17 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom units to families earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). Fourteen units will be set aside at 30 percent AMI and 27 units will be will be set aside at 60 percent AMI.
Unit amenities will include central air conditioning and kitchen appliances. The townhome units will also feature patios and a storage closet. After its rehab, the existing four-story building will include a community room, a common-area laundry, an elevator and a management and resident services office. Community amenities will include a playground, 92 parking spaces and a proposed bike trail on greenspace adjacent to the apartment community. Additionally, residents will benefit from supportive services provided by Berkshire Housing Services, Inc. which will include financial planning, workforce readiness (including transportation, daycare services, and employment training) and resident leadership opportunities.
Cole Avenue will be built with tax credit equity from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. To date, Boston Capital has invested in nearly 5,050 affordable apartments in Massachusetts.
About Berkshire Housing Development Corporation (BHDC):
BHDC is a private nonprofit organization that serves all of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1971 it has focused on improving the lives of Berkshire County residents by creating affordable housing, providing housing services and programs and helping communities access and administer community development projects.
BHDC has produced more than 2,000 new and rehabilitated housing units and has carried out a wide variety of community development projects including town infrastructure projects such as sewer and water systems, street and sidewalk renovations, construction of 4 senior centers and the adaptive reuse of vacant blighted downtown buildings. The organization also manages 565 units of affordable housing and administers approximately 570 Section 8 rental vouchers. It assists annually over 3,000 households maintain or secure housing through its housing stabilization programs that it operates in partnership with the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority. BHDC also serves as the region’s Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) providing homebuyer and housing counseling, information and referrals to an average of 4,000 households each year.