Topics: Housing and homelessness

ORLEANS – The Lower Cape is a place where people can spend $100 on a T-shirt, $200 on a kicky pair of sandals, and $12 on a cheeseburger. It is also where the Lower Cape Outreach Council spent an additional $95,000 on client services from January to May of this year, much of it trying to keep area residents in their homes. “The biggest area of expense is mortgages and rents,” said Larry Marsland, CEO of the Lo...

ORLEANS — It seemed that from the ashes of Phoenix Fruit, affordable housing might rise. Paul van Steensel of Cape Dreams Building and Design met informally with the affordable housing committee June 6 to discuss a plan to build six two-family townhouses and four one-bedroom apartments at 14 and 18 Cove Rd., now vacant office space and the former home of Phoenix Fruit. According to draft minutes of the meeti...

Though the Bob Murray Housing With Love Walk might have taken its last steps in 2017, those at both the Harwich Ecumenical Council For Housing and the Chatham Ecumenical Council for Preventing Homelessness know the need is still great, which is why they've combined forces for the first Mini Love Walk. Slated for July 12, folks from CECH and HECH will be walking the Chatham to Harwich leg of the Bob Murray walk...

Town Officials Seeking Big Fix Home Repair Applicants

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — With the deadline approaching for the Housing Assistance Corporation's Big Fix program planned for September, town officials are looking for eligible clients to take advantage of volunteer assistance with small home repair, landscaping and yard clean up projects. The HAC program will provide one day of volunteer services to assist veterans, seniors and disabled homeowners with needed projects. HAC ha...

Big Fix Program Coming To Harwich This Year

By: William F. Galvin

Housing Assistance Corporation of Hyannis is seeking to work with the community to make improvements to the homes of seniors, the disabled or veterans. The program is called “Big Fix” and focuses on helping the most needy in the community. HAC Chief Development Officer Ann VanVleck told selectmen Monday night the group chooses one community each year and team leaders and volunteers provide small home repairs, ...

Forum: Affordable Housing Is Not An Impossible Dream

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Talk may be cheap and housing unaffordable, but the Orleans Citizens Forum held a discussion Feb. 22 aimed at disproving those judgments. At “New Directions in Community Housing,” five panelists talked about what they've done and plan to do to increase housing options, including where to find the money to finance their activities. Facing an audience of about 90 at the senior center were Katie Wi...

Town, Citizens Group Commit To Working Together To Address Crisis CHATHAM – Most weekday mornings, traffic traveling east on Route 6 comes to a standstill in Dennis, where the highway narrows into a single lane. Many of the vehicles are heading here, where the occupants work but can't afford to live. “We're becoming a bedroom town,” said Selectman Shareen Davis. The lack of affordable housing here is not...

ORLEANS — Firefighters respond to fires, accidents, and medical emergencies. Next week, members of the local department hope that townspeople will join them in responding to the needs of those who are “Homeless for the Holidays.” For the first time, Orleans will join the roster of Cape towns whose firefighters take turns sleeping outdoors in the cold to raise awareness about homelessness and collect food, to...

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...