Editorial by Alisa Magnotta
2023 is already underway and while we are excited about the year ahead, the new year is also a time to reflect on what we accomplished in the last 12 months with help from our partners and supporters. In addition to helping more than 6,200 people who needed housing services last year, we also launched several innovative programs and initiatives to help our workforce remain living and working on Cape Cod.
In May, we launched the Grow Smart Cape Cod project in partnership with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC). This mapping tool allows town officials, residents, and developers to plan housing projects while also protecting natural resources.
In June, we launched the THRIVE (Tools to Help Residents in a Vulnerable Economy) program to help childcare providers and those who work with the developmentally disabled bridge the housing affordability gap with rent assistance and counseling to empower them to set, and reach, financial goals.
In November, we launched the Housing to Protect Cape Cod (HPCC) coalition to advocate for more affordable and attainable housing for Cape residents. We also released a report by the independent research firm, the Concord Group, which found that the Cape is losing more than 800 households a year that make $100,000 or less in annual salary.
In December, we opened a new satellite office in Orleans to increase access to our services for residents across the Lower and Outer Cape.
The site has been busy since doors opened to the public. We also continued to add housing opportunities for residents, bringing our total to nearly 600 units across the region, with more in the pipeline. That includes Brewster Woods, where construction wrapped up on 30 affordable units that are now available for lease.
Work on these programs and initiatives will continue throughout 2023 and beyond. The Concord Group’s report is sobering; researchers found that when one childcare or disability caregiver leaves the Cape, as many as 10 families lose access to these critical services and the economy suffers. These are just two industries hurting from the severe lack of housing stock and diversity on Cape Cod. We see clients from a variety of industries every day who have full-time jobs but cannot find housing or pay exorbitant rents. It makes the map we released with APCC an even more critical tool to find suitable locations for new housing. It makes HPCC’s work to empower residents and town officials as housing advocates even more urgent.
If you would like to learn more about what you can do to stand up for housing, I encourage you to visit the HPCC website: housingtoprotectcapecod.org. Now is the time to act to turn the tide on the housing crisis. Your voice matters.