Wednesday November 7, 2012

We in Berkshire County dodged the bullet this time. Hurricane Sandy left millions of Americans suffering in her wake after hitting our shores on Oct. 29.

When Tropical Storm Irene hit The Berkshires on Aug. 28, 2011, we were not so lucky. The ravages of Sandy remind us that it could happen to us again. Here in Williamstown, there are 100 of our relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors in The Spruces Mobile Home Park still living in harm’s way. They are just one storm away from losing their homes forever, as 200 of their neighbors did, thanks to Irene.

A way must be found to move those still living in The Spruces to housing elsewhere in Williamstown that is safe and affordable. Many people are working to address this very large and very complicated issue: local, state and federal officials, Williamstown’s Housing Authority, its Af fordable Housing Committee, and its Affordable Housing Trust Fund board, as well as Higher Ground, a non-profit organization formed specifically to aid those who lost their homes to Irene.

It will take all of us -- individuals, organizations, corporations, public, private, municipal, for-profit, and not-for-profit -- thinking and working together to find a solution. It will take a village to do this and I am confident that our village will meet this challenge.




The writer is chair, Williamstown Affordable Housing Committee, Town Hall, 31 North St.