Editorial by Alisa Magnotta
As we dive into a new year, I want to pause for a moment to reflect back on all we have achieved over the past extremely challenging year – thanks to steadfast and generous support from across our community. You may have heard that as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding passed by the Commonwealth, $3.25 Million is due to be invested in solving our local housing crisis through initiatives launched by Housing Assistance. We are extremely grateful to Senator Julian Cyr and Senator Susan Moran who fought for our region’s fair share of the ARPA relief funds, and for their continued commitment to solving the housing crisis which hits our region harder than elsewhere in the state.
In 2022, we look forward to adding more housing inventory and implementing new programs thanks to the following ARPA funding:
- $1 Million for 14 rental units in Orleans
- $1 Million for 42 rental units in Bourne
- $500,000 for THRIVE – Tools to House Residents in a Vulnerable Economy. This program will combine rental assistance with financial coaching to improve housing stability for daycare and disability care workers
- $500,000 for My Home Plus One, a technical assistance and financial incentive program to encourage homeowners to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).
- $250,000 for a regional advocacy coalition to increase housing production across the Cape and Islands.
We never would have been in a position to develop these initiatives and ask for this funding if it were not for the commitment our local residents have shown to helping their neighbors in need of housing. Thanks to donations from individuals, our corporate sponsors, and foundations, last year Housing Assistance completed a new five-year strategic plan that positioned us to respond to the ever-evolving challenges and opportunities in our local housing market and economy. In addition, we piloted several new programs, including an affordability rental voucher and financial coaching program that attracted state funding for the THRIVE program.
Our community cares about housing and thanks to local donations and support, Housing Assistance stands ready to face the challenges and leverage the opportunities that emerge as we work together to shape a future where everyone has a safe place to call home.