Berkshire Taconic Awards $39,000 to Support Economic Opportunity in Region

Sheffield, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation today announced $39,000 in grants to five organizations as part of its Community Development Collaborations grantmaking initiative. The initiative will support projects that promote and strengthen the conditions for economic opportunity, town center development and affordable housing in the foundation’s four-county region.

Northeast Dutchess County

  • Hudson River Housing received $8,805 to host a workshop in northeast Dutchess County that will build a better understanding of the housing needs of the rural workforce and share innovative affordable housing models with local decision-makers, residents, nonprofits and business owners. Additional meetings will give community stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the impacts of affordable housing on the region’s economy. This project is a continuation of the work Hudson River Housing began in 2015 to open a dialogue about affordable housing in the county.

Northwest Litchfield County

  • The Foundation for Norfolk Living received $3,800 to host a community conference on affordable housing at the Hub in Norfolk, Conn. The project will outline the Foundation for Norfolk Living’s proposal to build a cluster of new net-zero energy homes in town to lower ownership costs and highlight the benefits of increasing the diversity of Norfolk’s population by providing affordable housing options. With support from state grant funding, the group opened an affordable housing complex in town earlier in 2018.
  • The Northwest Hills Council of Governments received $9,500 to launch pop-up community hubs in northwest Litchfield County town centers. Residents will be asked to share ideas on ways to support local businesses, attract young families to the area, give back to their communities and meet the needs of older adults and teenage residents. The hubs will also provide information about affordable housing and jobs and job training locally. The executive director of the Norfolk Hub will act as an advisor to the project based on lessons learned from the Norfolk Foundation’s co-working and meeting space.

Columbia County

  • Philmont Beautification received $6,895 to develop a strategy to increase small-business ownership of mixed-use storefronts, with affordable housing on the upper floors, in Philmont, N.Y. These topics will be discussed during a series of workshops that aim to revitalize the downtown area and fill vacant buildings, as well as strengthen existing networks and partnerships. The project will be informed by an ongoing economic development planning project and master plan, and an economic and market trends analysis.

Berkshire County

  • The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire received $10,000 to convene business leaders to plan the expansion of existing businesses and the creation of new ones in southern Berkshire County that will provide living-wage jobs, along with affordable housing options that are walkable to town centers. During two workshops, participants will use a community supported industry strategy as a model to test the feasibility of offering locally produced products and services in the area and to explore housing concepts.

About Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Now in its 30th year, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation builds stronger communities by inspiring charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY. A nonprofit public charity with $150 million in assets, the foundation distributed a total of $6.5 million through grants and scholarships in 2017 to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services, and environmental protection. You can make a difference. We can help. www.berkshiretaconic.org

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