Kristen Tillona-Baker was presented with a problem this year when three separate families needed help finding housing they could afford in West County.
Tillona-Baker is the executive director of the Mary Lyon Foundation, a nonprofit that helps students, families and educators in the Mohawk Trail Regional School District through a variety of programs. Often when families have issues, the public schools come to the foundation for help. Tillona-Baker works individually with families to provide help with their problems.
For example, one family’s apartment flooded, resulting in the landlord having to renovate the apartment and displacing the family. While the family is now staying with relatives, they do not have a longterm plan for housing.
“West County is very difficult to find housing in general because the lack of production there has been extreme,” said Gina Govoni, executive director of Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, based in Turners Falls. “Overall, there is a real affordability challenge in Massachusetts.”
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