Lynn Bowmaster and Michael Docter: Get EconoLodge project back on track 

Published: 05-03-2023 8:26 PM

On March 21, we attended a Hadley Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to show support for the Valley Community Development Corporation’s (CDC) project to renovate the EconoLodge on Route 9 into affordable housing. The room was packed, yet the Zoning Board of Appeals would not let the public speak. This was frustrating to many who’d taken their time to be there.

The EconoLodge project will make excellent use of a vacant hotel and provide affordable apartments for tenants who have limited means. The location will give tenants easy access to bus service on Route 9, the bike path and shopping malls. The land is already built on and so it won’t cost us a single acre of Hadley’s precious farm land.

The Valley Community Development Corporation is an outstanding non-profit organization. They know how to build solid housing for people and they have a solid track record managing their properties. The project will create 51 affordable units for low-income renters and people emerging from homelessness. It will provide a full-time resident services coordinator to assist these tenants with social service needs.

The Hadley Council on Aging reports it spends more social service hours on housing than on any other issue. There are plenty of hard-working younger people as well who can’t afford a place to live on their minimum wage jobs. People are struggling here in Hadley and almost everywhere else. This is a great opportunity to help those who are struggling the most. We hope that the town of Hadley will work with the Valley Community Development Corporation to get this project back on track.

Lynn Bowmaster and Michael Docter