Topics: Housing and homelessness

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...

Car Donation Puts West Harwich Woman Back On Track

By: Kat Szmit

WEST HARWICH – Things were not going well for Adelia Marquis. Once, she lived and worked on Nantucket, enjoying her job as a landscaper. But then the hard times hit, and with force. “I struggled with homelessness for quite a while,” Marquis said. Thrown out of her home due to her sexuality, Marquis then lost her job due to COVID-19 layoffs. Faced with the unfathomable decision of where to go, Marquis opted ...

Forum: Pandemic Shows Need For More Affordable Housing

By: Debra Lawless

“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...

ORLEANS — The town’s investment in studying housing uses for the former Cape Cod Five operations center has led to a plan for 62 rental units at the West Road site. Pennrose, which recently developed the Village at Nauset Green affordable housing community in Eastham, has signed a purchase and sales agreement with the bank, which relocated its central office to Hyannis last year. The developer plans to create ...

Royal Apartments Heading To Planning Board Under New Bylaw

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Under the newly approved multifamily zoning amendment, the owner of the former Royal of Harwich Center nursing home/assisted living property at the corner of Bank and Parallel streets will be going before the planning board next week seeking permits for a 26-unit apartment complex. A similar proposal for re-use of the two buildings drew opposition from residents of the area last spring, and the appli...

Community Helps Cape Codder Build A House

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Jessica Shiever’s heart may have been pounding with joy when she walked up the driveway last week, but soon she was pounding nails to help make her Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod home a reality. The Eastham resident was chosen in a lottery for the new house going up on Quanset Road on a lot purchased by the town’s affordable housing trust. Last week, Shiever met on-site with Mike Sullivan, Habit...

Voters Nix Monomoy Theatre Zoning Proposal

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Treating it like an idea straight out of left field – literally – voters gathered at Veterans Field for Saturday’s special town meeting summarily rejected a zoning bylaw change linked to the redevelopment of the Monomoy Theatre property. Seated in the baseball field facing the outfield, voters could imagine the project that would have created 24 condominium units on the property next door, just behin...

Housing Initiatives Edging Ahead On Several Fronts

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — With the burgeoning need for affordable and attainable housing, selectmen are methodically moving ahead on several initiatives. “We do hear a lot of criticism about us not getting things done, but I think we’ve been very thoughtful in our approach,” Selectmen Chairman Shareen Davis said at last week’s board meeting. “We’re taking these steps in a way that’s going to build on itself, in a way that’s r...

ORLEANS — You don’t find a 314 percent increase in something often – maybe that’s how much your blood pressure rose during last week’s presidential debate – but that figure is an indication of the real estate market’s exponential growth. Pending sales of single-family properties in Orleans jumped from seven in August 2019 to 29 this August, a 314.3 percent increase, according to the Cape Cod & Islands Asso...