Working the Amherst Housing Puzzle was the title of a community forum held on October 25, 2017 to address a number of overlapping problems.
Symptoms of Amherst's housing problems include:
- During the past 10-15 years, Amherst has lost an estimated 800 households with children under 18. This of course affects the Amherst school system.
- Significant numbers of homeless individuals are served each year by local service providers, but rarely placed in housing.
- Numerous apparently insurmountable barriers to developing new affordable housing for families and individuals appear to prevent many of the proposed solutions.
The forum included both a panel discussion of studio apartment housing with supporting services, a model that is working well in Northampton, and break-out groups designed to address various aspects of the problem. The final report (attached) includes details of the suggestions from those groups.
The forum was co-sponsored by the Amherst League of Women Voters, the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Amherst and the Valley Community Development Corporation.