Community Enterprise: Springfield Housing Authority

Safe, affordable housing is an essential ingredient for any thriving town. Springfield Housing Authority has been helping residents find homes since 1944.

 

“Housing is key in any community,” says William F. Morlock, III, Executive Director of Springfield Housing Authority. “People need to be able to work, raise their children, and contribute to society, and you can only do that if you have affordable housing that you can be proud of.”

 
A report from the Urban Institute underscores this crucial need. The report states that nationwide, only 28 housing units are available for every 100 renter households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income. That’s very few apartments for a lot of people.

 
Springfield Housing Authority purchases properties that are in disrepair and either builds new housing or converts the existing structures into units that are safe, affordable, and comfortable. More recently, the group has purchased apartment buildings that were already affordable, but which were facing the possibility of privatization and large rent increases. Springfield Housing Authority took care of improvements and can now keep these homes at levels people can afford.

 
The group was also instrumental in rebuilding the Ellis Block when it was partially destroyed in a fire in 2008. The downtown movie theater was repaired, plus nine units of affordable housing and some commercial space were added to the structure. Unfortunately, soon after the theater reopened, the movie industry went digital.

 
“Mascoma Bank stepped in and helped us secure a loan at a good rate so we could buy a new projector and keep Springfield Cinema running,” says Morlock. Mascoma Bank has helped the Springfield Housing Authority with several short- and long-term loans that have made it possible for the group to keep housing affordable and the community strong.