Greenfield hotels that house homeless face new town orders

22News spoke with homeless families about the living situation in hotels.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Hotels in Greenfield that have helped the state house homeless families, will have to make some safety changes if they want to continue to do so.

The town of Greenfield’s building inspector is ordering improvements because people are staying for time periods longer than thirty days.

The Day’s Inn on Colrain Road and the Quality Inn on the Mohawk Trail in Greenfield have arrangements with the state to house homeless families.

“People are here for fires, some people are here because there house was condemned, evictions, and domestic violence,” a woman that lives in one of the hotels with her family told 22News.

The state pays $2,500 a month for each family that lives in one room, and that price doubles when they are spread into two.
Greenfield has ordered both Inns to apply to reclassify themselves as buildings that house long term guests and that means they would have to comply with fire and building code regulations they haven’t dealt with.

The Quality Inn that was built back in 1966 and has about 100 rooms was cited in a report by the Town Building Inspector, Mark Snow said that they had two fires over the past year and there was concern from the firefighters when they entered.

Blocked doorways, excessive electrical appliances and portable heaters with larger families living in small areas for long periods of time were mentioned in the report and letter that was sent to the Quality Inn owner.

One woman that wished to remain anonymous told 22News she’s seen inspections and improvement over at the Day’s Inn which was built around 1987 and has about 60 motel rooms.  “Some families are getting moved to scattered sites, family shelters, just to lower the chances of overcrowding.”

22News went to the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Turners Falls to find out how many people are currently being housed in the hotels.  Robin Sherman, the Executive Director said, “As of today there are 40 families receiving shelter in two motels in Greenfield.  With a total of 92 children, 51 of which are school aged kids and that’s down significantly from earlier this year when we had about 80 families.”

Case workers are meeting with families on a weekly basis, and more are being moved into shelters or subsidized housing.  Governor Baker has also announced that $20 million in next years budget will be put toward family homelessness.

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