In the News . . .

10-29-2020 -
Housing authority hires new exec. director

Thomas Guerino to start in November

The Greenfield Housing Authority (GHA) has hired Greenfield native Thomas Guerino as its new executive director. Robert “Butch” Hawkins, chair of G H A’s Board of Commissioners, said Guerino, who served for 10 years as executive director of the former Massachusetts Rural Development Council, is a graduate of Greenfield High School (Class of 1975), Greenfield Community College and the University of Southern Maine. He received a unanimous vote from the board to hire him. GHA manages Oak Courts, a family public housing development, and Elm Terrace, with subsidized housing for the elderly and disabled. It also works with The United Arc to provide housing for qualified individuals with special needs, among others. Hawkins said the Board of Commissioners undertook a thorough search that was delayed by the pandemic after former GHA Executive Director Daniel Finn retired in late April, giving it plenty of time to hold several interview rounds, all with health safety precautions being taken. “It was clear at the end of the interviews that he would best serve the needs of the Housing Authority,” Hawkins said of Guerino. “The board views his experience in budgets, human resource management, organizational development and advocacy as key attributes to help the board move the GHA forward.” Guerino, who lives in Vernon, Vt., is expected to begin in early November. . . .
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4-28-2020 -
Public housing tenants face pandemic hurdles

With unemployment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, residents living in buildings managed by local housing authorities may have found themselves struggling to make ends meet. “Tenants are certainly struggling to pay rent,” said Gina Govani, executive director of the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) in Montague. “We’ve been working with tenants — both household and commercial — to work through how they’re going to pay rent.” Last week, a new law went into effect that places a temporary moratorium on non-essential evictions of residential and small business tenants. William Abrashkin, interim director at the Greenfield Housing Authority (GHA), said this does not mean tenants never pay rent; but rather, rent payments can be deferred without a late fee. He explained that the authority essentially has two sources of income on the public housing side of the business — the subsidy from the state, out of the state budget, and tenant rent. With Section 8 Voucher housing, however, voucher recipients pay their share of the rent directly to the landlord, and the housing authority receives a subsidy from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make up the difference. “There’s no question if authorities are not compensated by state funding, yes, it would take a hit,” Abrashkin said. “Say a resident has lost their job and then reports that, then the subsidy … would be increased in proportion. In that case, housing would not take a hit.” But Abrashkin said it’s too soon to tell what kind of impact the crisis will have on housing authorities, as it depends largely on state funding. He said there are talks of developing new subsidy funding formulas in recognition of the blow housing authorities are taking during the pandemic. “I’m sure that (the Department of Housing and Community Development), the state housing authority, is aware of this need and working on it,” he said. In some ways, the state has already stepped in since the crisis began, finding ways to assist those who are struggling to pay rent due to unemployment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. . . .
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4-14-2020 -
Housing Authority names interim director

The Greenfield Housing Authority has announced the appointment of retired housing court Judge William H. Abrashkin to the position of interim executive director. According to Greenfield Housing Authority Chair Butch Hawkins, Abrashkin’s appointment enables the housing authority to improve operations while it seeks to identify a permanent director. Hawkins said Abrashkin has a substantial amount of experience in public housing administration, and recently provided guidance for both the Springfield Housing Authority and the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority. “We are very excited to have him guide the Greenfield Housing Authority during this time and are looking forward to getting him up and running,” Hawkins said. Abrashkin is taking over the role of outgoing Executive Director Daniel Finn, who is retiring after six years in the role, and 15 total years with the organization. . . .
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6-10-2015 -
Oak Courts renovations may mean housing for homeless families

The $13.2 million renovation of one of the town’s low-income housing developments is expected to be completed by the end of this month, and it appears one or more of the homeless families living in Greenfield’s two hotels could be among its new tenants and have permanent homes by July. Dan Finn, executive director of Greenfield Housing Authority, which manages Oak Courts off of Elm Street, said Greenfield residents, including those who are currently living in two of the town’s hotels, will have priority as the authority fills the last 34 apartments. . . .
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10-9-2014 -
First phase of renovations to Oak Courts complete

The first phase of the $13.2 million Oak Courts renovation project is complete and 16 families are now moved into the new apartments some have been waiting up to a decade to live in.The much-needed renovations began last November. The project was supposed to be done in four phases, but since then, Greenfield Housing Authority Executive Director Dan Finn said, it has been reduced to three phases, the last of which is expected to be completed by next May. . . .
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8-19-2014 -
Local agencies to host meal for Winslow residents

In an effort to build a tighter, more supportive and friendlier community among the 55 residents of the Winslow Apartments on Main and Wells streets, three local social service agencies will host a community meal there for the residents on Thursday. Nicole Fahey of Greenfield Housing Associates, owner of the building, said the meal, which GHA, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin County Resource Network hope is the first of many, will be provided by Green Fields Market and Just Roots farm . . .
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2-8-2014 -
Former inmates to live in Winslow

Some inmates about to be released from the local jail after completing their sentence or being put on probation may soon find themselves living in the low-income kitchenette apartments in the Winslow on the corner of Main and Wells streets . . .
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11-8-2013 -
A new start for Oak Courts; $13.2M in renovations begin

Heidi Stone and Briana Locke could not stop smiling Friday morning as they watched state and local officials lower gold-plated shovels into the ground during a symbolic groundbreaking that kicked off the $13.2 million Oak Courts renovation . . .
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7-26-2013 -
$11.7M for Oak Courts renovations, community center

The much-needed renovations that families in Oak Courts apartments have been awaiting more than six years will finally begin this fall. John P. Counter, executive director of Greenfield Housing Authority, which manages the low-income housing development, said GHA has received $11.7 million for the project . . .
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5-31-2012 -
The Winslow: A cornerstone of downtown

The renovation of the Winslow Building has a number of benefits not just for its residents, but also for the town of Greenfield. What was once a rundown rooming house catering to a clientele of male-only tenants is now a bright, clean, attractive cornerstone of the downtown. Although the building’s 55 rooms are still mostly occupied by men, about a dozen women call the Winslow home, as well . . . for full article see pdf below.
Supplement to The Recorder pdf

2-8-2012 -
Historic hotel converted to apartments

The historic Hotel Winslow in downtown Greenfield has been refurbished into a housing complex for people who don't have a lot to spend for rent.
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2011 Annual Report

Open Report pdf

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