For the Record
Have you heard something related to the City out in the community or on social media, and want to know if it's true? The Mayor’s "For the Record" page is designed to provide citizens with the facts about important issues affecting Greenfield.
When misinformation about important City projects or programs is widely disseminated in the community, the City will respond with available information and post it here.
The City actively works with community partners and housing professionals to create new housing units and rehabilitate existing structures for housing. Here’s the latest on key housing initiatives in Greenfield:
Wells Street Shelter Site: Since the 2018 Town Common encampment, City staff have explored the opportunity to expand the Wells Street site not just for the shelter - but also for next-step housing out of the shelter (with services to support the formerly unhoused on their path to housing security). The City initially approached the Greenfield Housing Authority, which indicated that it first had to focus on addressing some challenges with existing properties. The City then approached other non-profit housing organizations and Rural Development, the housing non-profit associated with the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, expressed interest. Clinical & Support Options is taking over homeless services for individuals in Greenfield, so the City encouraged them to work with Rural Development to explore expanding housing services on this site.
CSO is planning to acquire the site, rehabilitate the shelter space and create 36 new units of housing for people exiting the shelter. CSO and Rural Development have requested money from City of Greenfield Community Preservation Act funds. The City is also planning to provide some funding from the 2022-23 Community Development Block Grant program. The shelter will continue to operate during construction, though it may be temporarily relocated. CSO/RDI are awaiting funding announcements for the project from state sources they applied to in fall 2022. The City is hopeful that construction will start this year.
Wilson's Redevelopment: Franklin Community Co-op, The Community Builders and MassDevelopment have forged a partnership with assistance from the City to expand housing at this site. MassDevelopment acquired the property in November 2022. The plan is for the co-op to build out its section of the property starting in 2023, and TCB is planning to start the rental housing development in 2025. At the moment the plan is for 65 units (studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom) of workforce housing.
Upper-Story Residential Development: The City is working with the Mass Housing Partnership under the Complete Neighborhoods Initiative to explore the feasibility of converting underutilized upper-level commercial space in downtown into residential units. Currently two properties are under review as potential candidates for this feasibility analysis.
Abandoned/Vacant/Foreclosed properties: Municipal staff (Health Department and Community and Economic Development) are working with the Attorney General’s Office’s Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership Fund to move distressed, vacant and foreclosed property into receivership so that it can be rehabilitated and put back into functional use. The City has approximately 10 properties in process and is supporting one of the projects as a pilot affordable homeownership project with Rural Development.
29 Washington Street: This property is a tax-taking property that had a condemned house on it. The City used Community Development Block Grant and Attorney General’s Office funds for demolition. Because of the funding sources, this property must be used for affordable housing. A few years ago, the City put it out to auction with the affordability stipulation and there were no takers. The City plans to offer the parcel as surplus property and make it available for affordable homeownership or rental development this spring.
Hope Street Parking Lot: As part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan, the question has been raised about the long-term use of the Hope Street Lot once the temporary fire station is removed. The City is conducting a parking management study which includes an evaluation of the need to restore parking at the Hope Street Lot.
Housing Rehabilitation Programs: The City is currently not running a CDBG-funded housing rehabilitation program, but assists homeowners in accessing Mass Housing Finance Agency, USDA and CEDAC programs for home repair, handicap accessibility modifications, lead paint abatement and septic system repairs.
Staff from the Community and Economic Development Department participate in the local Housing Greenfield working group, the Franklin County Small Town Housing working group and the western Mass regional effort to encourage new housing production.Learn more about what the City is doing on the housing front by listening to a conversation between Mayor Wedegartner and Community and Economic Development Director MJ Adams.
Mayor Roxann Wedegartner received notification in late May 2023 from Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities that several families will be provided emergency temporary housing in Greenfield at the Days Inn Hotel on Colrain Rd.
The state continues to oversee the shelter as it collaborates with Greenfield and the on-site service provider, ServiceNet. The city supports ServiceNet and the state as they directly manage the shelter’s daily operations. We remain in contact with both parties while focusing our resources and attention on city matters.
The emergency shelter is currently at capacity, hosting 45 families and 150 people as of August 10, 2023. No timeline is specified for how long it will take for the state to relocate the families to long-term housing. The Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities and ServiceNet are working on gradually relocating families to housing over the coming months.
Residents interested in assisting the shelter must contact ServiceNet. Out of respect to ServiceNet's management responsibilities, we ask residents to AVOID visiting the shelter without prior approval and dropping off unsolicited donations. ServiceNet can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, (413) 585-1300, or their website contact form, https://www.servicenet.org/contact/.
The Greenfield Health Department accepted donations for emergency-sheltered families on behalf of ServiceNet throughout June. Donation acceptance was paused in July due to a lack of space at the Days Inn and the Greenfield Health Department offices to accommodate additional items. ServiceNet is now accepting donations for winter clothing. Those interested in donating should contact ServiceNet directly.