Topics: Housing and homelessness

Accessory Apartments Bylaw Under Scrutiny As Housing Tool

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Affordable and workforce housing has become a major focus of the board of selectmen and the planning board as the town considers establishing a housing trust and hiring a part-time housing coordinator. More than a month ago, selectmen raised the issue of tweaking the town's accessory apartment bylaw to make it easier for homeowners to provide a second housing unit on their property. One concern cente...

WEST CHATHAM — Almost exactly one year after community leaders, volunteers and prospective homeowners gathered to raise the first walls on new Habitat for Humanity houses in West Chatham, they gathered again last Thursday to dedicate the completed homes. Jonathan Liska and his daughter Victoria will soon be moving in to one of the houses, located behind the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance building and...

ORLEANS — Creating housing options that match the town's changing demographics is not impossible, a consultant told the planning board and affordable housing committee last week. Karen Sunnarborg, who's been working on a detailed housing study for Orleans, presented a clutch of short- and longer-term strategies at a public hearing July 25. “So much of this came out of the lively discussions and terrific conver...

It's no secret that housing is a problem both locally and Cape-wide. The hot market for seasonal homes has driven costs beyond what's affordable for most working people, and the supply of modest, reasonably priced homes is woefully inadequate. Specifically targeting the need for affordable – and livable – year-round homes for working people, Cape Cod Young Professionals, in partnership with the Cape Cod and Is...

Cape Cod's housing shortage is a big problem. Some say help could come in the form of tiny houses. Very, very small houses – think about the square footage of a big garden shed or a garage – increasingly have appeal to people who want to live with a modest footprint. It's called the “tiny house” movement, and while they aren't for everyone, these diminutive domiciles have distinct advantages. They also have a ...

Bob Murray Housing With Love Walk Turns 25

By: Alan Pollock

In 1993, it was clear that the best approach to tackling the growing problem of homelessness on Cape Cod was to prevent it from happening in the first place. With grants and services that help working families cope with life's ordinary financial emergencies, it could be possible to keep them from losing their homes. Under the leadership of the late Bob Murray, the Housing with Love Walk was born. Twenty-five y...

HARWICH — At 31, Jeff Locantore is the youngest resident of Pine Oaks Village, an affordable housing development here. He lives independently despite having cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder, and don't get him wrong. He's glad to have his apartment, having spent seven years on the waiting list to obtain it. But it's not really the experience Locantore had hoped for. He'd feel more comfortable being among p...

CHATHAM — State officials came to town last week to hear from small business owners about what the commonwealth can do to encourage job creation and business growth. What they heard was pretty clear: when it comes to government intervention, less is more. The May 5 session at the community center was led by Carolyn Kirk, deputy secretary of housing and economic development, with help from the Cape Cod Chambe...

Dozens Turn Out To Work On Housing Options

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — About 50 townspeople came to the senior center April 11 for a community housing forum. There were housing specialists, town board chairs, and some who were actively seeking housing options for themselves. “I haven't seen such a group since Chatham held a housing summit at Chatham Bars Inn for breakfast,” said Karen Sunnarborg, who is preparing the Orleans Community Housing Study commissioned by tow...

Habitat Faces More Issues On West Harwich Project

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod put forward a new ownership agreement to address site control issues raised by the appeals board last week, but ran into new concerns about whether rental units in the historic Judah Chase House were legally permitted. The nonprofit is seeking a comprehensive permit for an eight-lot subdivision that would provide six-affordable homes off Route 28 in West Harwich. Two ...

ORLEANS — A Community Housing Forum on April 11 will take a close look at the spectrum of current and future housing options Orleans needs for its residents, based on an in-depth survey of demographic and related trends. The forum, to be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the council on aging on Rock Harbor Road, will include a presentation of the draft community housing study and breakout sessions aimed at gene...

Habitat Requests Continuance To Address ZBA Concerns

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod six-home development project proposed along Route 28 in West Harwich hit a snag last week when members of the board of appeals challenged the completeness of the organization's application. After a nearly three-hour session a week ago Tuesday, Habitat representatives requested a two-week continuance to research issues raised by the appeals board. The appeals board...

West Harwich Habitat Project Faces Appeals Board

By: William F. Galvin

by William F. Galvin HARWICH — The appeals board was scheduled Wednesday evening to open a hearing on the Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod application for a comprehensive permit for six single-family affordable homes and two market lots along Route 28 in West Harwich. The hearing will be opened by the appeals board and will be immediately continued to a later date, anticipated to be in late March or early...

DeCosta, HECH, Honored By Harwich Dems

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH PORT — At an event newly named after President John F. Kennedy, Harwich Democrats Saturday honored local residents who embody civic and community involvement. The Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing received the James Noonan Community Service Award, and resident Debra DeCosta was honored as the Mabel Canto Democrat of the Year. The Democratic town committee renamed its annual President's Day brunc...

Harwich Faces Growing Housing Affordability Gap

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Housing is getting too expensive to sustain an adequate service provider population, and that's likely to get worse as the population ages. That message came through loud and clear during a presentation on the latest version of the town's housing production plan. There is a great need to provide affordable housing here and across the Cape, but communities should also address the need for workforce ho...

New Harwich Housing Plan Cites Need For Rental Housing

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town's population has decreased by 1.5 percent over the past 15 years, but Harwich remains an expensive place to live and more subsidized rental housing is necessary to make the community more affordable, the latest version of the town's housing production plan concludes. The plan will be the subject of a public hearing on Jan. 30 by selectmen and the planning board. The latest version of the pla...