Updated 10/19/2012 09:02 PM
Governor Deval Patrick announces new housing development in Pittsfield
Governor Deval Patrick drops by one new affordable housing complex to announce the creation of another in Pittsfield. Berkshire County reporter Madeleine Rivera tells us more about the project.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The citizens of Pittsfield may have something to smile about. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts came to the city for the ribbon cutting of the Rice Silk Mill, an affordable housing unit which opened recently on Spring Street. But he also introduced new project.
"There's an important relationship that I think most people understand between economic development and thoughtful housing development," he said during a press conference at the Mill.
His administration approved the Onota/Howard Project. It will create more affordable housing units and some retail spaces for Pittsfield. The project is the first one to be approved as part of the governor's Housing Development Incentive Program.
"Doesn't surprise me one bit that Pittsfield is leading. You have great leadership here," said Patrick.
There are two incentives for developers who choose to get involved in the project and create affordable housing. They can get a local option real estate tax exemption or a state tax credit for up to a million dollars. Patrick's administration believes housing is important in attracting and retaining the state's work force.
"When they're making formal relocation decisions, like should we be here or should we be in North Carolina, it's really critical to know that your work force is going to be there. And when you talk to the work force, they say it's about housing," said James Arthur Jemison, Deputy Undersecretary of the state's Department of Housing and Community Development.
The Onota/Howard Project will also include an $11 million street beautification plan.