In 2011, when Rich Bryant was serving as president of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod (HBRACC), he was asked to put together a group of skilled volunteers to assist with Housing Assistance’s Big Fix in Sandwich.
It was his first real exposure to the agency and the start of a relationship that has blossomed ever since. “Everybody needs a house,” Bryant said. “Everybody needs shelter. It’s one of our most basic needs.”
It is why Bryant, the Executive Vice President of Cape Associates, has deepened his support of an agency that works to ensure all on Cape Cod and the Islands have access to safe, secure housing.
Bryant and his Cape Associates colleagues have shown their commitment to our work by annually fielding a group of volunteers at our Big Fix-A-Thon, serving as phone fundraisers at our Telethon for Hope, and participating in HBRACC’s Bowling for Beds Fun-raiser which benefits our programs. Cape Associates has also served as an annual Housing Assistance sponsor.
Last August, Bryant took his support a step further – 7.1 miles to be exact – when he ran the Falmouth Road Race on Team Housing Assistance. “That was my longest run ever. I’m more of a 5ker,” he said. “This year, I’m going to try to better my time and also bring along some more participants from Cape Associates.”
Since last summer, Cape Associates has been serving as the general contractor for FORWARD (Friends Or Relatives With Autism And Related Disabilities) at the Rock in Dennis, a project that will result in eight units of affordable housing for adults with autism. Housing Assistance has served as a consultant on the project since it was conceived by Kathy and John Ohman of Dennis.
The project, Bryant said, is one that needs to be constructed in a thoughtful way so that it caters to those who will live there. “We’re on budget, on schedule and looking to turn it over in the beginning of May,” he said.
Looking forward, Bryant said, Housing Assistance’s efforts to have towns reassess how they consider zoning requirements and encouraging cluster developments and density, where appropriate, will be vital to ensuring everyone from low-income households to the workforce have access to the housing they need. “Take [Housing Assistance’s] Melpet Farm on Route 134 in Dennis. That’s a great example of cluster-type housing which wouldn’t otherwise be allowed through existing zoning restrictions,” he said. “I think it’s a trend that is much needed on the Cape.”
Why I Give
Rich Bryant (left) and Neil Pratt build a ramp for Cayla Lemire during the Sandwich Big Fix in 2011. Rich has been involved in the annual event ever since.
The Big Fix-A-Thon was not only Rich Bryant’s first exposure to Housing Assistance, it’s been his most meaningful.
An Army veteran, he enjoys participating in the annual day of service in which volunteers of all skill levels make small improvements to homes owned by veterans, seniors, and disabled homeowners in one town on the Cape. Often, Bryant and his Cape Associates colleagues have been paired with a veteran, spending a few hours at their home providing basic maintenance.
“It’s been great to be able to do that and see a smile on their face at the end of the day,” he said. “For us at Cape Associates, we’re big on community, big on philanthropy, and big on volunteerism for all our employees. Our employees go to these homes and give 100 percent. They’re just very excited to help and give back and see the appreciation in return.”