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PRESS RELEASE- Downing & Pignatelli Announce Additional Emergency Assistance for Lee Housing Authority
January 25, 2008

Pittsfield- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) announce today that the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has awarded technical assistance and emergency capital improvement bond funding to the Lee Housing Authority. This $15,000 award will supplement the Lee Housing Authority’s own capital reserves to design plans and replace the stairwell enclosures at the J.W. Brown Memorial Court Development, located at 155 Maple Street.


“The J.W. Brown Memorial Court development is an elderly housing complex with 48 units.  Continued investment by the state in our public housing stock ensures and improves the safety and comfort of our residents,” said Downing.   


The amount of the funding award is based on DHCD’s preliminary estimate of the costs associated with the project.  During the preliminary design phase, DHCD will be able to more accurately assess the scope of the emergency repairs and actual costs and adjust the award amount as needed. The Lee Housing Authority’s Board of Directors must approve DHCD’s Contract for Financial Assistance and related information before construction can begin.


On December 3, 2007 Downing and Pignatelli announced a similar award for the Lee Housing Authority, bringing home $100,000 in technical assistance and emergency capital improvement bond funding for selective repairs at the J. W. Brown Memorial Court Development.


Noting that Berkshire County has a wide range of housing and community development projects pending review by the Department, Downing has invited Housing Undersecretary Tina Brooks to tour the region and meet with state and local leaders to gain a firsthand view and understanding of the unique challenges that many small communities in western Massachusetts face.  Downing will host Undersecretary Brooks for a daylong tour of Berkshire County in mid-February. 




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