I haven’t blogged for more than 3 months, but not for lack of things to write about concerning asset development in the Berkshires. I didn’t get all the funding I was after, but we decided to launch a pilot program anyway (with very little money committed for our staffing and training costs, but the savings match is covered thanks to the support of the Midas collaborative and the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development). We’re now out recruiting 9 low-income artists in Berkshire County to open IDAs (4 for home ownership and 5 for small business development) as part of our start-up phase.
Details on the program’s application process can be found here.
Local artists are getting the message. We held two information sessions this week and I’ve responded to a number of phone calls and emails. Some 45 artists have inquired, and most of them seem to be income-eligible according to the state guidelines.
The pre-application forms are due April 25. Then comes the not-so-fun task of deciding who doesn’t get accepted to the program. In June we should be ready to begin the financial training and open accounts, and we’ll also be lining up funds for more accounts and more training in ’09.
There’s no turning back now.