Housing Assistance has launched a comprehensive plan that will enhance its family shelter program and accelerate clients’ transition to permanent housing, while also creating urgently needed year-round housing units for working individuals and families on Cape Cod.
The cornerstone of the plan is the transformation of a former skilled nursing facility at One Love Lane in Dennis to replace three family shelters: Angel House in Hyannis, the Village at Cataumet in Bourne, and Carriage House in North Falmouth. These sites are owned and operated by Housing Assistance and will be redeveloped into studios and two-bedroom, year-round rental units to provide permanent housing opportunities for individuals and families who have been affected by the region’s housing crisis. The 79 Cape and Islands families currently at these sites will relocate to the new facility in Dennis.
“One Love Lane will become stable, supportive transitional housing for families, many with deep roots on Cape Cod, who would otherwise be out on the street,” said Alisa Magnotta, CEO of Housing Assistance. “As we help these families on the path to permanent housing, we will continue our collaborative and constructive relationship with the Town of Dennis.”
The initiative corresponds with Housing Assistance’s multi-year strategic plan to address housing insecurity across the region. “One Love Lane property was a natural fit when we were approached to purchase it by the former owner last year,” Magnotta said. “They indicated that the nursing home operator was challenged by a workforce shortage exacerbated by the lack of attainable housing on the Cape – the same housing crisis that is forcing many families to turn to shelters.”
The former owner and operator has closed the nursing home and relocated residents following state regulatory requirements. Housing Assistance has filed plans with the Dennis Planning Board for special review of the new use of the property, which is allowed by right under a state law known as the Dover Amendment.
The 57,000-square-foot building is in good condition and many of the property’s amenities, including a full-size professional kitchen, will benefit shelter families. Housing Assistance is collaborating with an architect and other consultants on an interior renovation and redesign that will best accommodate family housing needs.
Housing Assistance will also leverage its partnerships with regional providers, its 30-plus years of shelter operational knowledge, and its experienced in-house team to create a 24-hour staffing plan and expanded educational programming that will allow families to move to year-round rental housing or even into home ownership.
“We plan to partner with other experts to establish expanded services with a focus on helping working parents staying in the shelter,” said Cassi Danzl, Chief Operating Officer of Housing Assistance.
“We have already identified transportation, financial literacy, and job training as additional elements of comprehensive assistance at One Love Lane to help accelerate successful transitions for these families into permanent year-round housing.”
The new facility is set to open to clients later this year.