More and more people are struggling to find affordable housing in western Massachusetts.
This is especially difficult for the homeless.
“The homeless I see are in Holyoke and Springfield,” said Thomas Barnes of West Springfield.”They don’t like going into the shelter when I talk to them, because they don’t feel safe.”
West Springfield is working with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to create more opportunities for affordable housing in town.
The PVPC said there are few affordable housing options for people in West Springfield and across the region. The state is providing them $15,000 to create a housing plan for West Springfield.
“It could take the shape of many different things it could be apartments, condos,” said Ashley Eaton, planner for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. “There are affordable homeownership opportunities people can develop and its really across the scale of incomes when you think about affordable housing.”
Eaton said they will hold a public forum at the West Springfield Senior Center Thursday night to study and identify the housing needs of West Springfield residents.
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is encouraging residents to complete their online housing survey ahead of Thursday night’s public forum. Here’s the link to the survey.