CHATHAM – There's an imbalance in Chatham—economic and demographic— that the Chatham 365 task force is working to identify and find solutions to.
There's an age imbalance: 14 percent of residents are 19 years old and under; 44.5 percent are 62 and older. The number of school-age students had dropped by 35 since 2010. There's an average of about 25 to 30 births in town annually, and 150 to 190 deaths.
There's an economic imbalance: the median household income is $74,875. To afford a median-priced single-family home on the Cape, about $362,800, an income of just under $80,000 is needed. The median listing price of homes now on sale in town, according to Realtor.com, is $895,000. Thirty percent of Chatham households earn less than $35,000 a year.
And there are nearly 12 percent fewer year-round households here now than there were in 2010.
These are some of the statics that the task force has put together to provide fodder for two upcoming public forums, on Saturday, April 6, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday, April 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Both will be held at the community center.
The group has been tasked by the selectmen with identifying the problems and challenges of living in Chatham year-round, especially for families and seniors, and find ways to build a “sustainable, vibrant and diverse community.”
Those attending the forums will be asked to address three questions: How did we get to the place where it is so hard to live here year-round; what are the challenges to living in Chatham year-round; and what would move Chatham to become a vibrant and diverse community?
The group plans to consider the feedback from the forums as it develops policy and other recommendations for the board of selectmen. Those who can't attend are urged to send written comments to the community development department at firstname.lastname@example.org. The task force also has a Facebook page listed under Chatham 365, where it will post details and developments as it moves along in the process.
Chatham 365 Task Force Public Forums
Saturday, April 6, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Chatham Community Center