Greenfield landlord must again put tenants up in hotel

  • Douglas Sky Wight, right, owner and landlord of 237 Conway St. in Greenfield, sits during a hearing in Western Housing Court in Greenfield before Judge Robert G. Fields in early December. Staff Photo/Domenic Poli

  • WIGHT

Staff Writer
Published: 1/3/2020 7:07:57 PM
Modified: 1/3/2020 7:07:33 PM

GREENFIELD — It was deja vu for landlord Douglas Sky Wight on Friday, who was ordered by a judge to lodge two of his tenants in a hotel until his next court date.

Western Housing Court Judge Robert G. Fields told Wight, who owns 237 Conway St. in Greenfield, he must foot the bill for a room with cooking facilities until Jan. 13. If the hotel room does not have amenities needed to prepare food, Wight must give the couple $75 a day as a food stipend.

It was similar to an order given to Wight, in court due to safety violations cited by the city, about a month ago. Jacqueline Wilson and her boyfriend had been living in the attic for about two and a half years, but town officials have deemed it uninhabitable. Wilson said she and her boyfriend stayed at the Red Roof PLUS+ in South Deerfield for four days on Wight’s dime and returned to live at 237 Conway St., though not in the attic.

Following a court recess, Wight said he had called the same hotel and booked a room for seven days. When the assistant clerk magistrate informed him the tenants had to be accommodated until Jan. 13, Wight said he would extend the reservations. Once Fields returned to the courtroom, Jennifer Dieringer, the attorney representing Wilson through Community Legal Aid, said the Red Roof PLUS+ does not have cooking facilities and that the refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker cited by Wight do not count. Wight had suggested the two could walk to a nearby Cumberland Farms for microwavable food. He seemed surprised the daily $75 food stipend would be in addition to the cost of the room and told Fields he would have to cancel the reservations and find a different hotel because he cannot afford that cumulative cost. The stipend would stretch to $750 by Jan. 13.

Wight told the Greenfield Recorder he felt “totally screwed over” by the court decision.

Fields also told Wight no one other than the five people (including Wight) living in the house could stay over in the home. Dieringer said two additional people have moved in since the Dec. 28 court date, though Wight said that is untrue. He told Fields that tenant Steven Giannetti’s friends have simply stayed on a couch in the building for a couple of nights. Fields said even that is unacceptable.

Dieringer said Wight is “making a lot of money off of poor people,” to which Wight silently shook his head.

Attorney Roger Reid, who is representing Greenfield, told Fields the city is pleased the building’s smoke alarms are now hardwired to work in unison, as Wight was previously mandated to accomplish, and he hopes Wight can make some other repairs by Jan. 13. Wight received a cease-and-desist letter from Greenfield Building Inspector Mark Snow in October.

Wight said he cares about his tenants and has worked hard to resolve this matter. He previously told the Greenfield Recorder he rents out rooms to the poor and homeless because he wants to help, having become an advocate for the less fortunate due to living out of the back of a pickup truck for 10 years.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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