Our View: Housing Uncertainty

by The Cape Cod Chronicle

We don’t yet know the implications of the purchase of the Stone Horse dorms in Harwich by the Corcoran Jennison Companies, the owners of the Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster. The Boston-based property management company paid $8.1 million for the two buildings, each of which houses 45 dormitory-style apartments. The company failed to return multiple phone calls from The Chronicle attempting to determine the future of the property.

Why is this important? Numerous local businesses have been using the dorms to provide housing for workers for three seasons out of the year (only up to 20 of the apartments can be occupied year-round, per conditions set by the town of Harwich). To potentially lose housing for up to 140 employees (each room houses up to two people) would be a major blow to many of these companies. Given the region’s housing crisis, finding places to live for that many people would be next to impossible.

Of course, the new owner would be within its rights to use the housing exclusively for Ocean Edge employees. But if that’s going to be the case, common courtesy would dictate that they make that known to the other businesses that have depended on the Stone Horse housing. But even the chamber of commerce and several businesses we contacted said they’ve heard nothing, despite attempts to contact the company. Summer isn’t far off, and a scramble to try to house that many workers is best avoided.