Topics: Housing and homelessness

ORLEANS — The affordable housing trust fund board and the affordable housing committee exercised their legs and their imaginations July 10 on a site visit to the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank operations center on West Road. The bank, which will be moving its HQ to Hyannis soon, agreed to let the town study the possibilities of converting the property to affordable rental units. With the caveats that any a...

CHATHAM – Who is looking for housing in town? “I see every income, literally, from one extreme to the other,” said Tracy Cannon, the Chatham Housing Authority's administrative assistant. While emergency housing situations are almost always addressed immediately, some have remained on the waiting list for one of the agency's 72 units for as long as 15 years. During a wide-ranging discussion that touched on b...

Affordable Housing Trust Sets Eyes On Oak Street Property

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The affordable housing trust set a few housing development priorities last week and plans to work with the Massachusetts Housing Partnership to evaluate potential housing locations and the number of units that can be placed on certain lots. After considering several available lots, the trust settled on investigating the housing potential of land on Oak Street. The partnership is a quasi-state agen...

YARMOUTHPORT — In 20 years as head of Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, Vicki Goldsmith of Harwich has seen political and public support for affordable housing ebb and flow. But as she looks forward to her retirement in December, Goldsmith is as optimistic as ever. “There’s been such an upsurge in energy from the towns,” she said. More towns have established housing trusts to help them purchase property when...

Planning Board Gives Nod To Stone Horse Dormitories

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The planning board last week approved a site plan review and special permit for the redevelopment of the Stone Horse Motel property and opted not to refer the redevelopment project to the Cape Cod Commission, despite requests from neighbors. The redevelopment plan for the former motel calls for constructing two dormitories with 42 rooms in each building, two beds per room, to be used primarily to prov...

CHATHAM – For many local businesses, especially larger ones, the biggest problem these days isn't finding employees, it's finding housing for employees. Workforce housing – not means-tested affordable housing, but “attainable” housing for those with good jobs and salaries – is at the root of many of the issues local towns are struggling with, particularly attracting and retaining young people and families. Bro...

Stonehorse Housing Proposal Heading To Planning Board

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Plans have been filed for the redevelopment of the Stonehorse Motel facilities along Route 28 in South Harwich. The planning board will hear the proposal to use new dormitory structures for seasonal workforce housing next month. The petitioner is Main Street Stone Horse, LLC, which purchased the 2.6-acre site earlier this month from Outer Cape Health Services, Inc. for $750,000. The Secretary of Stat...

EASTHAM — Housing and economic development advocates have a clear message for Lower Cape town meeting voters this spring: “We Can’t Afford to Lose the People Who Can’t Afford to Live Here.” That’s the theme of a public education campaign being launched by the Eastham-based Community Development Partnership. The message will appear in a series of newspaper advertisements and on social media. Jay Coburn, CE...

CHATHAM — Calling it a new approach to create housing for year-round residents, selectmen this week threw their support behind a zoning bylaw amendment that allows the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The board voted unanimously to recommend approval of the amendment, which will be put before voters at the May 13 annual town meeting. The bylaw is designed to allow no more than 20 property owners ...

ORLEANS — At times, it sounded like a modern version of Monopoly. At their initial joint meeting March 6, the town's affordable housing trust board and affordable housing committee talked about getting on the game board by, among other possibilities, acquiring a motel. The trust drew favorable Community Chest cards when town meeting voted to support it with community preservation money and annual funding amo...

Tackling Housing Crisis: A Full-time Job

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — The Cape’s year-round housing shortage is undeniable, and town volunteers deserve much of the credit for the affordable units that have been created so far. But now, with the talents of a housing expert from the Community Development Partnership, Chatham and Harwich are treating the housing crisis with a full-time focus. Until now, Harwich and Chatham have worked with volunteer committees to chart ...

ORLEANS – The town's new affordable housing trust agreed to put dollars behind desires last week, earmarking $2,200 to help spur marketing for an affordable unit that could lose that designation otherwise. The board met Feb. 13 to address a two-bedroom condo at 18 West Rd., one of 11 units designated affordable at the 42-unit complex. The designated units are under a deed restriction that requires they be sold...

ORLEANS — The future of adults with autism was as bright as the sunny skies during the Feb. 4 groundbreaking ceremony for Cape Cod Village. A crowd gathered inside Mid-Cape Home Centers to celebrate the shovels-in-the-ground stage of a dream nurtured for almost eight years by parents of severely autistic children who were concerned about a lack of programs for them as adults. Now, just months away, is the so...

Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw To Get Hearing

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Depending on one’s perspective, accessory dwelling units – or ADUs – are either a good first step toward addressing the housing shortage or a radical zoning change that won’t achieve the desired results. Either way, the draft bylaw amendment is now on its way to the planning board for a public hearing. An outgrowth of a 2015 survey showing that local seniors are worried about housing options to all...

Affordable Housing Trust Seeks Control Of Five Parcels

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The affordable housing trust is preparing an article for the annual town meeting seeking to transfer jurisdiction over five town-owned parcels from the board of selectmen to the trust for the development of affordable housing. “I don't see we'll be able to use multiple sites in one year, but it can help with the incredibly important issue of affordable housing over one to five years,” said Town Admin...

CHATHAM – For the past month, the hottest topic in town has been a letter to the editor headlined “Why Pay To Keep Young Families In Chatham?” The letter from Beverly Nelson, a Natick resident with a second home in Chatham, sparked a passionate response that went viral, spreading through social media and becoming the subject of conversation in coffee shops and town committee meetings. The Boston media even pic...