Q: What does the Department of Community Development do for the City?
A: The Department of Community Development focuses on planning for future development, housing, neighborhood development and economic development. The Department of Community Development is responsible for community and economic development and planning and housing activities for the City of Pittsfield. We administer the City's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Department of Community Development administers business loan programs; tax incentive programs and public works projects funded by the department. The City funds small business loan and technical assistance programs that are offered through the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC).
The department supports the construction of sidewalks, the planting of shade trees and demolition of vacant buildings that have become a safety hazard to the public, in Community Development Block Grant eligible areas. It also has completed a number of recent streetscape projects in the downtown area.
Q: What is the Community Development Block Grant?
A: Each year, the City of Pittsfield through the Department of Community Development receives Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD requires that the grant be awarded predominately to activities that meet the needs of low and moderate-income city residents and meet one of three national objectives. Please refer to the Community Development Block Grant section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.
Q: What is the mission of the Department of Community Development?
A: The mission of the Department of Community Development is to enhance the viability of the community as a desirable place in which to live and work through sound urban planning practices; housing, human services and economic development activities that will primarily benefit persons of low and moderate income; and by eliminating conditions of slum and blight.
Q: What is Powering Pittsfield?
A: The Powering Pittsfield Community Energy Challenge is a city-led outreach initiative designed to engage and empower residents and business owners to contribute to the goal of a 20% community-wide energy use reduction by 2020.
Working with our partners at Berkshire Gas and Eversource, Powering Pittsfield is able to provide a Concierge Service through the Center for EcoTechnology (CET). This Concierge Service will guide participants along every step in the process from finding energy efficiency opportunities to implementing energy conservation measures while taking advantage of the unbelievable incentives and rebates now available. Please refer to the Current Initiatives section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.
Q: What is the Downtown Streetscape Project?
A: Streetscape is a multi-phased, multi-million dollar improvement project. The project focuses on South and North streets and extends from Memorial Park on South Street to Wahconah Park toward the upper end of North Street. There are a number of distinguished landmarks within the project area including Park Square, The Colonial Theatre, Berkshire Museum, Barrington Stage, Berkshire Medical Center and The Intermodal Transportation Center. Please refer to the Downtown Streetscape Project section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.