Topics: Housing and homelessness

CHATHAM – Only a handful of affordable housing units have been built in town since the town last housing production plan, and a draft update of the plan acknowledges reaching the target affordable housing goal is a “formidable challenge.” Currently 5.03 percent of the town's year-round housing stock is considered affordable, half of the 10 percent level established by the state and endorsed in the town's compr...

Main Street Condo Plan Under Fire

By: Tim Wood

Affordable Housing Issue 'Irrelevant,' Says Zoning Board CHATHAM – The loss of workforce housing to upscale residences, one of the main concerns of those worried about the inability of young families to afford to live in town, has become a focus of a proposal to replace run-down apartments on Main Street with high-end condominiums. Opponents say the plan will force working people out of what are now four mo...

HARWICH – Robert Perry stared in amazement at his transformed back yard. What had been an area choked with weeds, cluttered with items ready for the dump, and shaded by overgrown saplings just hours before was now weed free, with trash and trees removed, sunlight dappling the freshly raked space. All the work was done by volunteers taking part in the ninth Annual Big Fix, which this year bettered the homes, and l...

ORLEANS — Consultants have answered a key question by opining that the current Cape Cod Five Operations Center on West Road can probably be re-purposed as affordable apartments. But in answering that question, they’ve opened up countless others. CBI Consulting, LLC, of Boston and Bennett Environmental Associates, Inc., of Brewster submitted their findings to town officials late last month, Town Administrator...

ORLEANS — When they meet Aug. 1 , the selectmen will be looking at proposed building and site evaluation contracts to help determine whether the Cape Cod Five Operations Center at 19 West Rd. can be reused as affordable apartments. Faced with a lack of options for housing, town meeting voted in May to create a new affordable housing trust and fund it with hundreds of thousands of dollars, some from Community...

ORLEANS — When they meet Aug. 1 , the selectmen will be looking at proposed building and site evaluation contracts to help determine whether the Cape Cod Five Operations Center at 19 West Rd. can be reused as affordable apartments. Faced with a lack of options for housing, town meeting voted in May to create a new affordable housing trust and fund it with hundreds of thousands of dollars, some from Community...

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...