Editorial by Alisa Magnotta
With late spring in full bloom and summer ready to shine, it seems like a good time to take stock. In work like ours, with the need for housing so great on the Cape, there’s always so much to do, so much to accomplish. So we often just keep our heads down and push from one project to the next, one hurdle to the next.
And all too often we forget to take time to appreciate the progress we have made, the hard-fought wins on worthy projects come to fruition — the positive momentum. Especially since these projects can take years between conception to completion.
This spring, we want to highlight successes on two projects in particular: Brewster Woods in Brewster and LeClair Village in Mashpee.
Brewster Woods, a 30-unit development of low- and moderate-income rentals, is a great example of how small successes add up to a big win. It is one of those that took years from concept to completion for a property set aside for housing in the 1980s — the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration between the town of Brewster, the Brewster Housing Authority, Housing Assistance, and Preservation of Affordable Housing. Planning and construction began in 2015 when Housing Assistance was awarded the RFP by the town of Brewster. And now, Brewster Woods is fully occupied and includes residents of all ages, from young families to seniors.
In Mashpee, construction is underway on the new LeClair Village, 39 rental apartments named to honor community leader Mary LeClair, a longtime housing champion who has supported Housing Assistance in many ways, including as a longtime board member.
These new homes join the more than 550 housing units Housing Assistance has helped to create.
We’re also seeing inspiring momentum with Housing to Protect Cape Cod, the coalition of local businesses and nonprofits including CapeBuilt, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod and the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®, whose mission is to empower our friends, family and neighbors to take action in their towns to support pro-housing policies. Nearly 800 people have signed on to this coalition to speak up for affordable and community housing in towns across the region. Many of those new members have gathered at a variety of events around the Cape to talk about the housing crisis and how they can advocate for change.
After the starkness of winter, all of the small changes bursting forth in spring — crocuses, daffodils and tulips to cherry blossoms and lilacs — seem so visible and noteworthy. In contrast, so much of the work we do at Housing Assistance takes time to effect visible positive change. But all of the successes that bloom along the way are important and help build our momentum toward positive change against the housing crisis.
Thank you for joining us on this worthy journey.