Commitment to Affordable Housing
The founders of BBC in 1988 believed that land preservation and affordable housing were not incompatible goals. Both are integral to a sustainable community. To that end, advocacy for affordable housing was written into the organization’s mission.
Early on, board members urged developers of projects in the Broad Brook watershed to take into account open space and housing affordability. BBC supported, for example, the Pines Edge development on Cooke Avenue and the Lathrop Community on Bridge Road.
A more active role came with new board members who were directly involved in housing efforts. For nearly 10 years, BBC members volunteered to serve dinner once a month at the Interfaith Cot Shelter on Center Street and monitored housing issues in the city. Annual donations were made to the Northampton Housing Partnership.
As the demands of managing an expanding conservation area continued to grow, BBC shifted away from volunteer work at the cot shelter. However, the board hasn’t shifted from its support of affordable housing. A BBC member serves as a liaison with the Housing Partnership, and every year BBC contributes 5% of its membership fees to a housing organization, most recently to the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. We will continue to speak in support of affordable housing projects that meet the City’s goals for smart growth.
Contact Jim Reis (586-0567 or firstname.lastname@example.org) BBC’s volunteer coordinator if you are interested in volunteering for BBC’s efforts in the affordable housing area.