December 11, 2012

In attendance:  Connie Eason, Pittsfield Housing Authority, Brad Gordon, Berkshire Housing Services, Jennifer Hohn, North Adams Housing Authority, Rich Hamlin, Adams Housing Authority, Martha Joyner, Lenox Housing Authority, Betty Ann LaBombard, Williamstown, Sherry Miller, Lee Housing Authority, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Charlie Smith, Pittsfield Housing Authority
A summary of the group’s main discussion points:
  • DHCD’s Transitional Housing Program was not a good fit for Berkshire County due to the limited turnover (every 9 months a transitional housing family must be leased up and a new unit made available) and overall limit in the number of state family units in the region. Note: discussions continue re: collaboration among housing authorities of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties to implement this program as a consortium.
  • Discussion of the funding challenge for rehabbing units.  DHCD’s requirement to pay up front is unrealistic since smaller housing authorities have no additional resources.
  • For smaller housing authorities, it would be useful to exchange information and referrals from Pittsfield and North Adams re: good contractors.
  • Berkshire Housing Services interested in applying for federal ROSS funds with Pittsfield and North Adams housing authorities to support federal funding for case management for tenants.  Will discuss more with them.
  • Discussion of regionalization:  concern about loss of local control and resulting capacity to collaborate and build partnerships in response to local challenges.  Working with Mass. NAHRO.
  • Network role re: regionalization:  provide advocacy.  Pamela will stay tuned for NAHRO position and further communication from Berkshire housing authorities re: Network message and advocacy.  Can use Network to mobilize with a united voice on this issue.
  • Pamela encouraged all to subscribe to the Network blog at  in order to stay connected to Network efforts.

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