Topics: Affordable housing

Housing Crisis Weighs On Nauset Schools

By: Ryan Bray

EASTHAM – Speaking to his fellow Orleans Select Board members last week, Mark Mathison recalled when the existing Nauset Regional High School was built, a "slew" of teachers were hired to round out staff at the new building and what is now Nauset Regional Middle School. When they came, they had a place to find housing, he said. "In fact, that whole development off of Millstone Road in Brewster was 80 percent t...

ORLEANS – The needs of any town are multi-faceted. On Cape Cod, affordable housing, wastewater treatment and protection of open space often top the list. But that doesn't mean those needs have to compete against one another. That's the philosophy behind Grow Smart Cape Cod, a new data-driven program that uses interactive mapping to help communities prioritize future projects in those areas. The program, whi...

ORLEANS – They didn't pass quietly, but articles to secure construction funding for Meetinghouse Pond sewer work and adopt a new sewer assessment bylaw garnered voter approval during Monday night's annual town meeting. The bylaw, which calls for sewer costs downtown and in the area of Meetinghouse Pond to be split between the tax rate (80 percent) and users who will tie into the new sewer system (20 percent), ...

ORLEANS – Habitat For Humanity Cape Cod wants to bring more density to the homes it builds locally on the Cape, but could this new model work within plans for the Governor Prence Inn property? The town's affordable housing committee met with representatives from Habitat For Humanity May 3, which led to a discussion among committee members about how affordable housing should factor into plans for the 5.5-acre p...

ORLEANS – They didn't pass quietly, but articles to secure construction funding for Meetinghouse Pond sewer work and adopt a new sewer assessment bylaw garnered voter approval during Monday night's annual town meeting. The bylaw, which calls for sewer costs downtown and in the area of Meetinghouse Pond to be split between the tax rate (80 percent) and users who will tie into the new sewer system (20 percent), ...

ORLEANS – Sitting at her desk Friday on her first official day as the Lower Cape Outreach Council's new CEO, Katie Wibby is well aware that there is much to be done. First hired in January as the council's chief operating officer, Wibby now sits at the helm of an organization that for years has helped provide emergency financial relief and other resources to families in need on the Lower and Outer Cape. "We...

ORLEANS – Can equity in sewer betterments be achieved for users downtown and in the area of Meetinghouse Pond? If the select board's public hearing on the matter March 9 is any indication, it doesn't seem likely. "I think what we can take away from all of this is there is no fair and equitable way to assess a betterment in this town," Finance Director Cathy Doane told the board at the conclusion of the two-hou...

ORLEANS – Town officials want to have all of the information they need in place if and when the time comes to demolish the existing Governor Prence Inn buildings. The select board and the affordable housing trust board, which together co-own the 5.5-acre property on Route 6A, voted during a joint meeting Jan. 18 to begin the process of undertaking site reconstruction and a topological survey, funding for which...

ORLEANS – The select board wants clarity on the town's insurance policy on the Governor Prence Inn buildings, which Town Administrator John Kelly said the town could be at risk of losing. Kelly told the board Jan. 12 that he received communication from Lloyd's of London, which is insuring the building, that the town has 45 days to make needed repairs to the property, otherwise it could risk losing its $1 milli...

ORLEANS – The Underground Mall off Route 6A has been vacant for years. But Chris DeSisto sees parking inside the existing buildings and landscaped greenspace breaking up the expansive pavement. More than anything, however, he sees an opportunity to provide moderately-priced housing to people in and around Orleans who need it. DeSisto, owner of Maple Hurst Builders, presented preliminary plans for building w...

A new year comes with New Year's resolutions, and officials in Chatham, Orleans and Harwich aren't short of them for 2022. We asked select board members from each of the three towns what's topping their list of legislative priorities this year. Perhaps not surprisingly, the creation of housing was almost universally cited as an ongoing need among officials in each community. "I'd hate to talk about anything...

ORLEANS - It was a busy year on a host of fronts in Orleans, but once again, it was COVID-19 that drove the 2021 narrative. In a year that began hopefully with the arrival of vaccinations and ended with a resurgence of the virus, 2021 was dominated by the pandemic every bit as much as 2020. In between ongoing discussions about vaccines, masking and possible mandates, town officials grappled with a host of other i...

HAC Given Control Of 107 Main Street Property

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS - Housing Assistance Corporation has been given control of property at 107 Main St., and the nonprofit also appears on track to secure funding necessary to bring housing to the site. Both the select board and the town's affordable housing trust board voted unanimously Dec. 15 to approve a land disposition agreement with HAC, giving it site control of the 1.3 acre parcel where the former Masonic Lodge c...

Orleans To Explore Short-Term Rental Bylaw

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- Short-term rentals are bringing in added revenue for the town, but the lack of regulations is creating problems for residents. Count Kevin Galligan among them. The select board member said Dec. 1 that he has seen how unregulated rentals have negatively impacted his neighborhood and others around town. In particular, Galligan took issue with homes that are not being rented to vacationers but th...

Multiple Funding Sources In Play For 107 Main St.

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS — Efforts to secure necessary funding for a proposed affordable housing development at 107 Main St. are following separate but parallel tracks. Between an application submitted to the community preservation committee seeking $1 million for the project in the spring and an earmark seeking the same amount as part of the senate's ARPA bill, local and regional housing officials are confident that the funds...

Planning Board Favors Industrial Areas For Dorms

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- The planning board wants industrially zoned areas in town to be considered as possible locations for dormitory-style workforce housing. The board believes that dormitory housing could be a way of creating more places to live for seasonal workers that local businesses depend on during the summer months. Businesses in Orleans and across the Cape and Islands were plagued this past summer by a lack of s...