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If you’ve ever wondered how to get educated and involved in changing housing policy, or if you already are involved in housing advocacy and looking to engage with other like-minded individuals, Housing Assistance Corporation encourages you to join the upcoming free Municipal Engagement Initiative (MEI) workshop on Wednesday, June 16 at 6 PM on Zoom, presented by Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA). 

The Municipal Engagement Initiative is a program of CHAPA designed to support citizen advocates as they work with town officials to implement housing solutions. The workshop will provide an overview of tools and planning strategies for building lasting housing coalitions, many of which are available for free on CHAPA’s website www.chapa.org. CHAPA will provide examples of successful housing coalitions and projects, and participants are encouraged to bring questions and examples from their town as well. Housing Assistance will be hosting follow-up meetings for residents interested in building active coalitions.

Organizing into a coalition makes it easier for residents to engage with towns on housing policy on a consistent basis. It’s not always clear to individual residents who in town government they can ask about the status of housing initiatives, which board or committee meeting or public hearing they should be attending, or how to organize people to talk through the complex issues and ideas before items get to an official public hearing or vote. The coalition pulls people and the conversation together.

Our region faces a critical lack of affordable housing. If we don’t act quickly and consistently, the Cape and Islands communities we know and love will disappear. But solutions are within reach—if we are willing to get involved in changing policy to support more affordable housing. 

Please join us on June 16 at 6 PM, and bring your friends and neighbors! 

Residents from throughout the Cape and Islands are encouraged to attend this introductory workshop. In the Lower and Outer Cape, Community Development Partnership (CDP) has already established some working groups with local towns utilizing the MEI framework. To learn more about groups in those areas, contact Andrea Aldana at andrea@capecdp.org.