Topics: Housing and homelessness

PLEASANT LAKE — Cape Cod Regional Technical High School students have a history of helping Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, and now they’re looking to take the people who live in Habitat homes for a ride. A bicycle ride, that is. Students at the Pleasant Lake school are repairing and restoring bicycles to give to Habitat residents. The project is part of a SkillsUSA Week community service initiative the schoo...

CHATHAM — Calling it a great opportunity for the town, the select board threw its unanimous support behind a plan to purchase four parcels of land in South Chatham to build affordable and attainable housing. The proposal will be addressed by town meeting voters in June. The property at 2337 Main St. is in the area of the town-owned Bassett House visitor center, and owner Dennis Jordan has offered the land to t...

ORLEANS — The consensus of the zoning board of appeals is that Pennrose, LLC, deserves a comprehensive permit to proceed with its plan to convert the former Cape Cod 5 operations center into 62 units of affordable rental housing. A formal vote is expected April 7. Before coming to that view at the board’s March 17 meeting, members heard from some of the West Road site’s near neighbors, including residents of...

Conversion Of Royal To Apartments Approved By Plan Board

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The 26-unit Royal Apartments project was approved last week by the planning board over the objection of residents in the neighborhood who were concerned with density, traffic and parking issues that will be generated by the conversion of the assisted living facility to apartments. The proposed apartments would be located in the former Royal of Harwich assisted living facility at the corner of Bank an...

‘Mansion Tax’ Proposal Clears First Hurdle

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A proposal to levy a fee of one-half of 1 percent on transfers of real estate over $2 million, using the proceeds to support affordable and attainable housing, is one step closer to going before voters for consideration. Colloquially dubbed a “mansion tax” by sponsor Select Board member Jeffrey Dykens, the measure requires final approval by selectmen and the endorsement of town meeting before it co...

Select Board Endorses Middle Road Land For Housing

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The select board Tuesday unanimously threw its support behind the idea of using 19 acres of town land off Middle Road to create affordable and attainable housing. Town officials say two parts of the property, 5.2 acres on the west site and 3 acres on the east, are suitable for building. The western side of the parcel could sustain units with a total of between 20 and 25 bedrooms, with another 12 to...

Advocates Push Select Board On Housing

By: Alan Pollock

Focus On Middle Road And Private Land CHATHAM — When it comes to housing, it’s all about location, location, location. Or is it? In its drive to create affordable and attainable housing in town, the select board once again finds itself pulled between the need to act quickly and the desire to find the best possible locale. The board heard presentations last week on a half dozen town-owned parcels where ...

Selectmen Look At Options For Housing For Disabled

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectmen are weighing the use of the former fire station property on Bank Street for a four-bedroom home for disabled individuals. Jeff Locantore, who has cerebral palsy and two different types of seizure disorders, made a presentation to the board last week on the reuse of the property. Locantore, 35, said he and Jonathon O’Callaghan, 36, who has cognitive and physical disabilities, are working to ...

CHATHAM — There’s no silver bullet to solve the housing shortage in town, but selectmen this week advanced several initiatives that might prove important, including a potential half-percent real estate transfer tax for properties over $2 million. The concept was floated by Selectman Jeffrey Dykens, who said it would provide a sustainable revenue stream for affordable and attainable housing projects. Had the ma...

ORLEANS — An online survey that drew more than 700 responses ranked affordable housing and a community center as the top desired uses for the 5.5-acre Governor Prence Inn property between Route 6A and the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The survey was part of a feasibility study, supported by town meeting in October and the affordable housing trust, to help determine whether the town could benefit from buying the prope...

ORLEANS — A preference survey of potential new uses for the Governor Prence Inn property is open for responses until Jan. 9 and available online here . Results of the brief opinion poll created by the town’s consultant, Barrett Planning Group, will be available Jan. 12 at 5:30 p.m. during a joint public meeting of the affordable housing committee, affordable housing trust board, planning board, and select b...

ORLEANS — The consultant retained to answer questions about the potential re-use of the Governor Prence Motel had plenty of her own for town leaders last week. The select board, affordable housing committee, and affordable housing trust board met Dec. 10 with Judi Barrett, owner and managing director of Barrett Planning Group LLC. “Who’s struggling to stay in Orleans?” she asked. “What kinds of households, age...

Community Support Strong For 'Homeless For The Holidays'

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH PORT — Even combined with the constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Saturday’s heavy rain that saturated the ground did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who came out to support the annual “Homeless for the Holidays” drive in Harwich Port. This was the sixth year firefighters and police came together to collect toys and food and raise money for the program established in 2002 by Bourne fire...

Housing Committee Confused Over Conflicting Roles

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Housing committee members are confused and frustrated over what their role is in shaping the housing needs of the community, now that the focus and funding has shifted to another group, the affordable housing trust. The committee last week discussed their mission and expressed concerns about being “sidelined.” Housing Committee Chairman Art Bodin said he had a discussion with Selectman Stephen Ford, ...

“We are in a moment right now where it has never been more apparent that housing equals health care,” Andrea Aldana, director of Housing Advocacy for Community Development Partnership (CDP), said last week during an Orleans Citizens forum on affordable housing. “Our ability to control the pandemic is really closely tied to access to safe, decent and affordable housing that allows people to shelter in place and pr...

A Change In Venue For Harwich's 'Homeless For The Holidays'

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Local firefighters and police officers will join together for the sixth consecutive year to make the holiday season a little easier for those facing hard times. The public safety staff will be “Homeless for the Holidays” for three days beginning on Friday, Dec. 4. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the setting will be changed this year. The homeless encampment set up in Brooks Park by fire and poli...