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Yarmouth Selectman Mark Forest talks about how residents can make a difference in their communities during last year’s Cape Housing Advocacy Training in Hyannis. 

Next month, Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and Community Development Partnership (CDP) will launch the second iteration of the Cape Housing Advocacy Training, a collaborative effort between the two nonprofits to provide people throughout the region with the tools to support affordable housing in their communities. 

It is becoming increasingly well-known that there is shortage of 4,500 units of housing that is driving many working families and lower-income households, as well as the businesses and customers that rely on them, into crisis.

“More and more people on Cape Cod are understanding that to preserve our communities, we need to ensure that there is enough diverse types of housing to support our workforce, young professionals, and seniors who want to downsize. To meet this housing need, towns have to change their housing planning and policies. This workshop gives people the information and practice they need so that their message will be heard by decision makers in our region,” Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Galazzi said.

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Stefanie Coxe talks to attendees at last year’s Cape Housing Advocacy Training session in Falmouth. Stefanie is the principal of Nexus Werx LLC which provides Learn to Lobby trainings in Massachusetts. 

CDP and HAC will each host trainings in different areas of the Cape. The workshops are free and are geared toward anyone who wants to learn more about the housing crisis on Cape Cod and the Islands, and how they can make a difference.

Participants must pre-register and can do so by clicking this link

The workshop dates, times and locations are as follows:

  • Saturday, February 2, 9 am–2 pm, Wellfleet Preservation Hall at 335 Main Street, Wellfleet 
  • Saturday, February 23, 9 am–2 pm, Harwich Community Center at 100 Oak Street, Harwich
  • Snow Date for Lower and Outer Cape: Saturday, March 2, 9 am–2 pm, Harwich Community Center
  • Saturday, March 2, 1–4 pm, Yarmouth Council on Aging at 528 Forest Road, West Yarmouth
  • Monday, March 4, 5:30–8:30 pm, Mashpee Town Hall at 16 Great Neck Road, Mashpee
  • Thursday, March 14, 5:30–8:30 pm, Barnstable Town Hall at 367 Main Street, Hyannis
  • Snow Date for Upper and Mid-Cape on Saturday, March 23, 1-4 pm, Housing Assistance Corporation at 460 West Main Street, Hyannis

These workshops are designed to provide an overview of the housing crisis and how individual residents can make impact with an emphasis on practicing their advocacy skills with each other in a variety of simulated official and social settings. Attendees will learn:

  • Basics of the housing crisis
  • How public housing decisions are made
  • Opportunities to engage
  • Common arguments against housing (NIMBY: Not In My Backyard!)
  • Counter arguments to support housing (YIMBY: Yes in My Backyard!) 
  • Framing your message
  • Speaking with confidence

Participants on the Upper Cape and Mid-Cape are encouraged to register for the free trainings online at www.capehousinginstitute.org. Those on the Lower Cape and Outer Cape can do so by clicking this link

The Housing Advocacy workshops are generously supported by funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).