Yes In Our Backyard!

from Connections, Summer 2023 Newsletter

In the past year, Construct has seen the southern Berkshires take leaps of faith from “Not in My Backyard” to proclaiming “Yes in OUR Backyard!”

NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) is the acronym that describes the sense that while affordable housing is needed, many don’t want it in their community. Many reasons for this are based on negative misperceptions of what happens when affordable housing occurs in a neighborhood.

Great Barrington and New Marlborough residents have seized the moment and supported the Windflower Inn and Cassillis Farm being converted to workforce affordable housing. In both cases, opportunities arose that required a quick response. While Construct is nimble enough for that, we don’t have deep pockets.

Cassilis Farm, a Gilded Age estate in New Marlborough, was purchased at auction with over 90% of the acquisition funds raised by residents. Residents have continued active participation through the special permitting process, and over 60 neighbors toured the estate and voiced support in May. Offering guidance and narrating Cassillis’s storied past, neighbors enthusiastically said, “Yes in OUR Backyard!”


Promoting affordable workforce housing is also a concerted effort at The Windflower, with backyards abutting Egremont, Great Barrington, and Sheffield. Greylock Federal Credit Union provided favorable financing, the Town of Great Barrington provided ARPA funds, and private donations flowed from across Berkshire County. Because Windflower was funded privately, Construct accepted its first occupants within a month of closing on December 1st, 2022, and was able to safeguard the homes of the two existing cottage residents.

Banding together, we can overcome the housing crisis while enhancing one another’s lives. That’s what it means to be good neighbors. That’s what “Yes in OUR Backyard“ means. Thank you in advance for continuing to take these leaps of faith.

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