Pittsfield Mayor Peter Marchetti (left) and Stockbridge Select Board Member Patrick-White will discuss housing challenges in the Berkshires at an upcoming panel discussion; submitted photos.

Q-MoB Hosts Mayor Peter Marchetti & Stockbridge Selectman Patrick White to Discuss LGBTQ+ Housing Challenges

Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass  occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would not provide additional relevant information.

PITTSFIELD — Queer Men of the Berkshires (Q-MoB) is offering a series of Creative Housing Solutions Forums for the whole Berkshire LGBTQ+ Community, including a panel discussion on March 24, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Hot Plate Brewing in Pittsfield. Pittsfield Mayor Peter Marchetti, Stockbridge Select Board Member Patrick White will join diverse LGBTQ+ community members at this forum, which recently received a $3,000 grant from the Community Fund at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Senior planners from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and other long-time housing advocates and LGBTQ+ community members will also participate in the forum to foster dialogue, collaboration, and practical project development to meet the housing needs of LGBTQ+ community members.

In the first Housing Forum on February 25, a Senior Planner from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission gave us an overview of some startling statistics about the housing crisis in the Berkshires:

  1. Rents have been rising rapidly, especially during and after COVID,and are at historic highs in the Berkshires.
  2. Rental unit inventory has fallen dramatically since COVID and is at historic lows, meaning there is a lot of competition for very few rental units.
  3. Inventory for single family homes for sale has dropped dramatically since and beyond COVID and and prices have skyrocketed.  
  4. Inventory for condos for sale has also dropped since COVID and remains at historic lows, and compared to other markets in Massachusetts the Berkshires have almost no condos to serve as starter homes or for seniors to move to when they can no longer afford to care for large houses. The prices of the few condos there are are at historic highs.
  5. Since COVID the demographics of the Berkshires is changing rapidly, in that the population of people over 60 is growing fast, while the numbers of younger generations are dropping rapidly. Because of lack of high-paying jobs, skyrocketing housing prices, and lack of housing inventory, the younger generations of queer people are being forced to flee the region, as are seniors on fixed incomes.

“Quality, affordable housing is an integral part of our community,” said Pittsfield Mayor Peter M. Marchetti. “Pittsfield is taking proactive steps in helping developers create new housing opportunities to provide more possibilities for our residents,” 

headshot of middle-aged caucasian male, Bart Church, Q-MoB Interim Executive Director
Bart Church, Q-MoB Interim Executive Director; submitted photo.

Each monthly forum will serve as a platform for LGBTQ+ individuals to share their housing challenges, needs, and visions. At the forums, participants will be invited to join a Working Group, which will collaborate between forums to develop practical projects aligned with their identified objectives, such as creating new housing resources, advocating for queer-friendly housing or policies, and even planning and building queer-friendly housing options, or facilitating older queer people who need help staying in their homes to connect with younger queer people who need affordable housing in exchange for helping with cooking, cleaning, running errands, landscaping, etc.

“We believe that by bringing together diverse voices from the LGBTQ+ community and engaging experts, allies, and housing developers, we can develop innovative solutions to address the increasingly impossible housing challenges of younger and older LGBTQ people in the region,” said Bart Church, Q-MoB Interim Executive Director. “Q-MoB is grateful to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation for its support of this ground-breaking work.”

LEARN MORE:  For more information and to register for the upcoming March 24 and April 28 forums, please CLICK HERE

About Q-MoB:

Q-MoB is a non-profit organization that empowers queer men in the greater Berkshire region to create, find, & participate in activity/support groups, classes, & resources that foster community, wellness, & fun. We are a non-profit hub for diverse & intergenerational community organizing for rural queer/gay men of all ages, races, income levels, & backgrounds to discover & manifest their individual & collective potential. We offer more than 25 activities/month in the parts of 4 states and 5 counties that make up the Greater Berkshires.

Jason Velázquez

Jason Velázquez has worked in print and digital journalism and publishing for two decades.
Phone: (413) 776-5125

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