Celebration to Mark the Opening of New Affordable Housing in Northampton
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Smith College and City of Northampton officials will celebrate the opening of new affordable housing for individuals with a ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the site of the building, 180 Earle Street. The public is invited.
Smith constructed the $1.5 million energy-efficient building in partnership with the Housing and Economic Resources for Women (HER, Inc.), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the area’s affordable housing stock.
Following remarks by Smith President Carol T. Christ; HER, Inc., Board of Directors Chair Carol Walker; and Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins, the building will be open for tours.
The Earle Street building, designed by Tom Douglas of Northampton and constructed by Western Builders of Granby, is comprised of 16 units. Fourteen of those are single occupancy, each with a kitchen and bathroom, and one is a two-bedroom apartment. The building also has a common room; a manager’s apartment; laundry facilities and off-street parking. The first floor is fully accessible.
Smith and HER, Inc., are in the process of swapping ownership of 180 Earle Street and 66 Green Street, which currently contains the same unit mix. HER, Inc., has offered the new units to current residents of the Green Street facility – a diverse mix of men and women ranging in age from 20s to 70s. Most are expected to relocate to the new building, and Smith is covering the cost of their move.
Although 66 Green Street is not within the footprint of Ford Hall, Smith’s planned science and engineering building, it is nearby and may be part of future science expansion in that area. In addition to the affordable housing units, the building is home to the Green Street Café, which has been offered a five-year lease renewal.
HER, Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit community-based development corporation in 1984 by a group of women working in community development and working as advocates for battered women. The organization is committed to the goal of increasing the availability of and access to housing and economic opportunities for people, especially those who have historically been denied access because of economic, social, racial and cultural barriers.
Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.
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