Windrush rendering

A rendering of Windrush Commons, a 49-unit affordable housing complex to be built in Great Barrington.

GREAT BARRINGTON — With most of the financing in place, groundbreaking on an affordable housing complex in town will begin this summer or fall.

The state has awarded the Community Development Corp. of South Berkshire, and its partner, Way Finders, about $14 million to build the 49-unit Windrush Commons at 910 South Main St. 

The total $19 million energy-efficient project will yield apartments for anyone, from families to seniors, that will rent "significantly lower than market rates," according to the development corporation. Allison Marchese, the nonprofit's executive director, said she did not have exact rental costs for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units. 

Tenants who qualify must have annual household incomes that are not more than 60 percent of the local median income. 

The complex, which will sit on about 2.5 acres, will include a community gathering area with a kitchen, outdoor "green space" and laundry facilities. More than 5 acres of the property will be protected as conservation land. 

The news has excited town officials, who have been working to support such projects, since local paychecks lag behind housing prices that continue to accelerate skyward. New rental stock also is expensive and hard to come by.

“This award of funds comes at a critical time for Great Barrington," Town Planner and Assistant Town Manager Christopher Rembold said in a release. "With very few housing units on the market, and a zero percent rental vacancy rate, home prices and rents are out of reach for most households.

The apartments, which will be managed by the Berkshire Housing Development Corp., will be within walking distance to shopping and public transportation. 

The complex will be move-in ready around January 2023, Marchese said.

State Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox announced the award March 5 and said the project also will receive federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidies from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. 

Town voters in May approved awarding $250,000 in local Community Preservation Act money to the project. 

The development corporation recently completed the affordable, 45-unit Bentley Apartments, a short walk to downtown.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or 413-329-6871. On Twitter @BE_hbellow.