Q: Does the City offer an Urban Housing Tax Increment Financing Program?
A: The City has established a program providing for the phase in of new property assessments on property within the described qualifying UHI-TIF zone when the property owner is willing to enter into a formal agreement with the City to:
- Make substantial investments in upgrading existing housing units; or
- Build new housing units, either:
1) as new in-fill development; or
2) as part of a mixed use development, which could involve renovating an
existing building or new construction.
In exchange for the City agreeing to phase in the increase in property assessment that occurs as a result of this investment, the property owner must commit to:
- Cap the rent or sales price of at least 25% of the new housing units for a period of no less than 40 years; and
- Continuing to pay
Please refer to the Urban Housing TIF – Program & Procedures section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.
Q: Does the Department of Community Development offer a Home Improvement Program?
A: The City’s Home Improvement Program provides grants and/or low-interest-rate loans to income-eligible home- owners or landlords with lower income tenants for code-related home improvements such as correction of buildings state sanitary code violations. Examples of these improvements include plumbing, electrical, repair of sewer lines, lead paint removal, new roofs and furnaces, vinyl siding and windows, porches, interior finish work, and foundation repairs.
The Department of Community Development staff provides technical assistance to applicants to guide them through the process of preparing a detailed description of the necessary repairs as well as assisting them in soliciting bids from general contractors.
Since its inception, the City’s Home Improvement Program has benefited over 1200 lower-income Pittsfield families and helps residents maintain pride in their property and their neighborhoods. Please refer to the Housing section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.
Q: Does the Department of Community Development offer a Handicapped Ramp Grant Program?
A: The Handicapped Ramp Grant Program provides grants to income eligible homeowners and tenants for the construction of exterior wheelchair ramps into housing units. Please refer to the Housing section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.
Q: Who can I speak to regarding Landlord/Tenant issues for guidance?
A: The City Of Pittsfield distributes two handbooks, Information for Landlords and Information for Tenants. Both handbooks address Landlord/Tenant issues and the Fair Housing laws. It also includes information on other local services and sample documents, such as a standard lease, rental agreement and other letters a landlord or tenant may need. It is available at no cost at the Department of Community Development, 70 Allen Street, Room 205, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
The City also runs a Fair Housing hotline service for Landlord/Tenant issues and questions related to fair housing. The public is invited to call with questions at (413) 499-9367. Service is available between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please note that any messages left outside of these hours will be returned the next business day.
For more information, please refer to the Fair Housing section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages.