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State awards Construct with $3.1 million grant for Cassilis Farm

"Receiving this funding is a tremendous step toward our $7.4 million goal, bringing us to 80 percent of our target," says Construct Executive Director Jane Ralph. "It is gratifying to see our shared vision for affordable housing in New Marlborough gain such momentum."

Great Barrington — Construct Inc., the leading nonprofit provider of affordable housing and support services in the Southern Berkshires, has been awarded a $3.1 million grant from the Healey-Driscoll administration’s 2024 Affordable Housing Development program. The state funds will help construct and subsidize 11 units at Cassilis Farm, a Gilded Age estate in New Marlborough, making them affordable to families and workers at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Governor Maura Healey and Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus joined Construct Executive Director Jane Ralph, local officials, and other housing developers from across the state to announce the grant awards, totaling $227 million in state and federal tax credits and subsidies. The grants will support the creation or preservation of 1,874 rental units across Massachusetts.

“This award demonstrates that affordable housing can be created in rural communities while preserving the character of existing neighborhoods and supporting local businesses,” says Construct Executive Director Jane Ralph. “Receiving this funding is a tremendous step toward our $7.4 million goal, bringing us to 80 percent of our target. It is gratifying to see our shared vision for affordable housing in New Marlborough gain such momentum.”

“These awards are one of the most effective tools our administration has to increase the development of housing that is affordable for people across the state,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Along with our Affordable Homes Act, we’re working to lower the cost of housing across Massachusetts to benefit our families, businesses, and economy.”

This is the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities’ largest annual grant award, supporting the development of affordable rental housing units statewide. The total investment includes $27.1 million in four percent federal tax credits, $12.1 million in nine percent federal tax credits, $44.5 million in state tax credits, and $143.4 million in state subsidy funds.

In addition to analyzing how these projects met the state’s housing goals, the Healey-Driscoll administration carefully evaluated every application’s green, sustainable, and climate-resilient aspects to ensure that all projects selected for awards will help further the state’s climate objectives.

In 2020, New Marlborough’s Affordable Housing Committee released a report stating that the town has no affordable housing and businesses are struggling to keep their doors open due to severe staff shortages. In 2022, with the housing crisis at an all-time high in southern Berkshire County, Construct purchased Cassilis Farm with the generous financial support of friends, neighbors, and New Marlborough ARPA funds. When construction is complete, Construct will have created 13 new one- to three-bedroom affordable-housing units, expanding New Marlborough’s community base, promoting economic stability, and contributing to a future of growth and development. In addition to addressing immediate housing needs, the project also focuses on restoring the historic Cassilis Estate. This effort will preserve a significant piece of local heritage, ensuring it remains a valuable asset for future generations. Full occupancy at Cassilis Farm is anticipated in early 2026.

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