Jessica Winn: A tenant describes the housing crisis in South County


When Fairview Medical center suspended elective surgical procedures due to the COVID pandemic, Housatonic resident Jessica Winn shifted out of her day surgical procedures nursing role to support phase-down COVID people, perform at the screening centre, and administer vaccines. If you been given a shot at just one of the center university clinics, she may well have given it to you.

Winn returned to functioning in day surgical procedures for us, but her city was no lengthier there for her. On January 31, 2022, she signed the closing papers on a doublewide trailer in the Allendale Pines park in Pittsfield and moved in soon thereafter with her two teenage sons.

This tale starts off on the working day she left her spouse in the summertime of 2020. We spoke on January 30, 2022:

I was gonna be homeless. We had nowhere to go. By way of phrase of mouth, thank God, my pal was going out of her three-bedroom duplex in Housatonic, so we moved in there. We paid $1,500 a month. It truly took treatment of us for the first year just after shifting out. It really settled points down. It was awesome! The young children did not want to move.

I was explained to in Oct that the landlord preferred to provide the residence due to the fact the tenant on the other facet is pretty troublesome. I have experienced no challenges. They’ve been great. They saved us.

Jessica Winn. Photograph supplied

I had pretty much a a single-track head, seeking to find a area to live. It is all I did for six months. My substantial other appeared each day for residences, apartments, you name it. He was sending me things all working day lengthy, but every little thing was outrageously pricey. [A business in Lenox] did lease a dwelling to me in November, and they needed initially, previous and safety, so $3,400 as well as $1,800. They needed it prior to the initial of the month. I had past and protection, $3,400. But I had just paid my $1,500 hire [in Housatonic] so I reported, “Can I give you 50 % this week and fifty percent following 7 days? I just paid out rent. I’ll be destitute.”

The male renting the position reported, “I’ll call the house owners.” He named me back. “No, they’re heading to go with the following person.”

I had by now supplied notice. I experienced previously rented a van. They needed their revenue, and I could have paid it, but it would have remaining me with certainly no income for a week ’til my future paycheck. That lease bundled nothing at all. You experienced to do your very own plowing, your have garden, you experienced to consider treatment of all your utilities, for $1,800 a thirty day period. That is the least expensive place I have located.

There was a 3-bed room area on the Hill in Wonderful Barrington for $4,000 a month. I named the person and I’m like, “I’m a community female and I want you to tell me what occupation I want to get in get to pay back $4,000 a thirty day period for an apartment.”

He claimed, “Well, I can get somebody from New York Town to occur here and pay it like it is very little.” That is what he reported to me.

I have three very superior good friends who are in the identical scenario I was in 7 months ago. A buddy of mine has a husband, a canine, a cat and two young ones. They lease a house in Canaan. The owner is having difficulties so she desires to shift back into the property, and they need to have to come across a location to dwell. There is nothing. She’s hysterical. She has upper body pains. She can’t even operate due to the fact she does not know what to do.

Then I have one more pal with her husband and two small young ones, and their area is remaining marketed so they need to have to locate a put. They have her husband’s brother who is mentally and bodily handicapped and they choose treatment of him, so she wants at least a three-bedroom dwelling. Nothing.

And then, one more buddy and her daughter. They got a good very little a person-bedroom apartment they could manage. She obtained a boyfriend that she made use of to date in large college, and he asked her to move in, so she loses her condominium. They dwell with each other like 8 months. He breaks up with her and now she has to discover a location for her and her daughter and there is nothing at all for a a single-bed room apartment underneath $1,200. The girl’s doing the job at McDonald’s to try out to make income. It is awful.

Allendale Pines aerial picture by way of mobilehome.internet

I am now transferring to Pittsfield because we observed a manufacturer-new, a few-bed room, two-tub created dwelling. I’m paying $121,000. I have a side garden. I have a back garden. The bike path runs at the rear of my home. I’m signing the papers at 8:30 tomorrow early morning, and as quickly as I hand more than those people checks and indication that paper, the anvil of weight which is been sitting on my chest for four months will ideally, at last, go away. My vehicle is packed. I’m going to indicator those papers and unload the automobile.

They set up two a lot more right after mine, and now the good deal is entire. I have like double the quantity of room than every person to the still left of me. Sardines is what I would say about just one aspect of the lot. Our side is more spaced out. They put in two additional residences that are not completed and they’re by now marketed. I know a couple of individuals from South County who have been up below for a lengthy time.

I unquestionably appreciate it. I mean, it is a double broad trailer, there is no two ways all around it. But they phone it a produced household. It’s received authentic windows. I have a learn bed room and bathroom with a shower and a wander-in closet, and a bathtub that you could put four persons in. And the boys have their personal bathroom and I have a laundry space and beautiful kitchen area. The kitchen area is set with model-new, stainless-metal appliances.

The boys have taken bicycle rides just about every night. Michael did 24 miles. He did the full trail. My major other is listed here just about each and every night time to cook for us mainly because I’m even now broke as a joke. But I did this myself. I’m pretty proud of myself, remaining a single mom with two young children. This way, now nobody’s gonna be kicking me out for the reason that I own it.

My very best buddies are all in Litchfield, Connecticut, and Sheffield. We like Cafe Adam and the Brewery. But other than that, it’s quite considerably, “Screw you, Barrington.” It’s now a 39-minute travel to work for me just about every working day. I’m gonna have to generate my son to Massive Y [in Great Barrington] at 7 a.m. This way I can function pretty a great deal 7:15 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. just about every working day. It offers me nearly my eight-and-a-50 % hour shift. I’m only going to have to use a minimal earned time. But this is what you have to pretty much do to be able to locate a location to stay in Berkshire County. My close friend claims our young ones will never ever be capable to manage a dwelling in the position in which we all grew up.


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