Topics: Housing and homelessness

CHATHAM – At two public forums last week, residents encouraged the planning board to move forward with a zoning amendment allowing accessory dwelling units in single-family homes, but recommended that limits be placed on the number of units allowed annually and suggested that the language of the bylaw be tightened to prevent abuse. Support was not unanimous, however, with several residents warning that the byl...

New Partnership Could Boost Affordable Housing Stock

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Like other towns in the region, Chatham has a lack of affordable housing. But it also has a scarcity of available housing for families capable of paying a mortgage, since properties under $500,000 often sell immediately after going on the market. A group of citizens and stakeholders hope to start addressing that problem using a novel approach: a private entity that quickly buys up a property that’s...

Selectmen Approve Housing Coordinator On Split Vote

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — On a 3-1 vote, selectmen approved a contract agreement with Community Development Partnership, an Eastham based nonprofit, to serve as the town's new housing consultant. Selectman Michael MacAskill cast the dissenting vote, expressing concern the town was rushing the appointment, given the absence of a recommendation by the new affordable housing trust. Town Administrator Christopher Clark, who is...

Housing Trust Begins Affordable Housing Development Planning

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The competition with second home owners is driving up the cost of housing in Harwich and making it more difficult for people living and working in the community to purchase a home, said Town Administrator Christopher Clark, the chairman of the town's affordable housing trust. The town has recognized the need to increase its affordable housing inventory to provide places were the working community can...

ORLEANS — This town is known as the business hub of the Lower and Outer Cape, but it's also the human services hub. And that's due in no small part to the business community. With the holidays approaching and the need increasing, the Homeless Prevention Council (HPC) and the Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC), both headquartered in Orleans, are working hard to keep Cape Codders from Brewster and Harwich to P...

CHATHAM – Planning board members hope the public will provide feedback on a revised accessory dwelling unit (ADU) zoning bylaw amendment at two upcoming forums. The bylaw is designed to encourage more diverse housing choices by allowing year-round apartments in single-family homes. While the units will not have affordability restrictions, officials say allowing apartments in homes can help families meet the hi...

ORLEANS — The affordable housing committee wants Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank to know the town remains interested in reusing the bank's soon-to-be former headquarters off West Road for housing. “It's important that they realize our enthusiasm is still there,” Selectman Mefford Runyon, his board's liaison to the committee, said at the committee's Nov. 7 meeting. The bank, whose new operations center is...

HARWICH — The need for affordable year-round housing is nothing new. But town officials are hoping that a new approach – the creation of accessory dwelling units – could provide some relief. Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh updated selectmen Monday on efforts to draft an ADU bylaw in time for voters to consider at the next annual town meeting. If enacted, the bylaw would allow accessory apartments within the...

Stone Horse Motel Redevelopment Into Workforce Housing OK'd

By: William F. Galvin

SOUTH HARWICH — The board of appeals approved a use variance last Wednesday that puts in motion a plan to replace several structures at the former Stone Horse Motel and build two new dormitory buildings to provide housing for as many as 180 seasonal workers. The project must also go before the planning board and board of health for final approvals. Outer Cape Health Services, Inc. (OCHS) is the current owne...

Cape Cod's housing market is a victim of its own success. “We're known around the country as a safe investment,” said Alisa Magnotta Galazzi, CEO of the Housing Assistance Corporation. That's led to a steady increase in seasonal homes – 5,000 in the last six years – and a loss of some 3,000 year-round units in the same period, she said. That trend is a major contributor to the shortage of year-round housing...

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...