Topics: Housing and homelessness

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...

HARWICH ─ Homelessness is a problem that affects thousands of Cape Cod residents, and last week members of the Harwich Fire and Police Departments pitched in to help alleviate their struggle. For four nights and five days firefighters and police officers braved the cold as they stationed themselves outdoors at Brooks Park collecting donations of toys, food and funds to benefit local families in need. Acco...

Walking The Long, Slow Road To More Diverse Housing

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — A glacier that moved through these parts took millennia to shape the Cape we know as home. These days, progress in creating the variety of homes Cape Codders need can seem glacial as well. Not everyone is lining up for another single-family home on an acre lot. In fact, some of the folks in those houses are looking to downsize into something more manageable as they enter their golden years. On the ...

Selectmen Approve $240K For Habitat Housing Development

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — The selectmen on Monday night voted to provide Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod with $240,000 from the town affordable housing trust fund to purchase approximately 1.5 acres of land off Route 28 to construct six affordable homes. As required when approving the use of the housing trust funds, the town's housing authority and housing committee last week also endorsed the allocation to Habitat proj...

Like Other Year-rounders, Seniors Need Housing Options

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — When it comes to senior citizens' housing needs, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. That was the message the planning board heard from elder advocates last week. In a rare joint meeting with the council on aging board of directors last Tuesday, the planning board posed a series of questions designed to help them consider zoning changes that would encourage the development of sen...

Habitat Moving Forward With West Harwich Plan

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod is moving forward with an agreement to purchase Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing property off Route 28, with an eye on building six affordable homes on the rear portion of the land. Habitat has applied to the board of selectmen for up to $300,000 from the town's affordable housing fund for the purchase of the land and is also requesting that selectmen provi...

WEST CHATHAM — Having just raised two of the walls for his new Habitat home, elbow to elbow with volunteers he'd only just met, Jean-Claude Butter said there aren't many words to describe the feeling. “It's a great experience, like seeing the birth of your child,” he said. Butter, his wife and three children came to Chatham from Haiti in 2012 and have been living in rented quarters. The prospect of living in...

A few years ago a couple came to Evelyn Doane, a sales associate in William Raveis Real Estate’s Chatham office, looking to buy their first house. “They fortunately had a good credit rating, same jobs for a number of years,” Doane recalled. The jobs were “not terribly well-paying, but a steady income.” While the couple qualified for a loan, they did not have money for a down payment for their dream house in...