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PRESS RELEASE- Downing & Speranzo Laud Critical Investment in Pittsfield: DHCD Awards $2.85 Million for Two Projects to Create New Housing Opportunities
January 24, 2008

Pittsfield- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative Christopher N. Speranzo (D-Pittsfield) are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has awarded $2.85 million in private and public resources to support two projects that will supply affordable housing in Pittsfield. 


In total, DHCD today announced its intention to provide more than $100 million in assistance to support two-dozen developments which will yield 908 new rental apartments in 21 communities across the Commonwealth. 771 of those apartments will offer long-term affordable rents for low- and moderate-income families.


New Amsterdam Project, New Amsterdam Project LP

$1,000,000 Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)

$525,000 Federal HOME Funds (HOME)

$750,000 Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF)

New Amsterdam Developer Beth Pearson describes the project during a

downtown tour of Pittsfield led by Downing.


The New Amsterdam Project will receive a package totaling $2,275,000 from state and federal programs designed to promote affordable options to low-income families.  The developer, New Amsterdam Project LP plans to develop a 67-unit housing complex on Bradford Street which will also feature retail and gallery space.  This project offers solutions to the housing gap often noted in Berkshire County by providing a new and attractive option to families, young professionals, artists, and others. City leaders hope New Amsterdam will encourage people to take a second look at Pittsfield’s downtown as they consider their housing options.


“This project is another leap forward in Pittsfield’s revitalization.   Once it is constructed and when families and young professionals start to move in, New Amsterdam will serve as a residential gateway to the City’s downtown,” said Downing.


The New Amsterdam Project has long enjoyed the support of Pittsfield’s leaders, on both the state and local level.  Downing and Pittsfield Mayor James M. Ruberto arranged a meeting with DHCD and the project proponents in July to discuss its merits and importance to the City.


“This project provides needed workforce housing and creates an additional link between our revitalized downtown and the Westside neighborhood,” said Mayor Ruberto.


Beth A. Pearson, Principal, New Amsterdam Partnership LP expressed her gratitude for the help and support she received while working to advance her vision.  “I have to express my huge thanks to my wonderful development team as well as to the guidance and support provided by Senator Downing, Representative Speranzo and Mayor Ruberto.  I look forward to breaking ground to provide this crucial housing in the Berkshires.” 



Traumatic Brain Injury Residence, Berkshire County ARC

$569,999 Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF)


Berkshire County ARC is being awarded $569,999 from the state’s Housing Stabilization Fund to construct a single-family, ranch-style home for six people suffering from a traumatic brain injury.  This funding completes budget requirements to build the home which will be designed by native son and Taconic High School graduate, Barry Buchinski of Blackstone Block Architects.  Buchinski designed another Berkshire County ARC residential facility on First Street in Pittsfield.


“Berkshire County ARC has a strong track record for providing important services to the community and it is wonderful to see them receive the necessary funds to get this project off the ground,” said Speranzo.


Berkshire County ARC Executive Director Kenneth Singer said, “We are thrilled to move forward with this housing project and to serve these people with specialized staff and around-the-clock care.  We appreciate all the support we received from Senator Downing, Representative Speranzo and all our elected officials.”


Mayor Ruberto said, “We are pleased the Commonwealth is providing critical financial support to two organizations that have proven track records for developing high quality housing in the City of Pittsfield.”




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