|Stefanie Coxe (third from right) discusses Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaws during the Mid-Cape Municipal Peer Group meeting this summer.
Modifying each town’s Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw is not a panacea for Cape Cod’s housing issues, but it can help.
That was the message Stefanie Coxe, a consultant for Smarter Cape Cod, a coalition of community groups, had for town officials from the Mid-Cape and the Upper Cape taking part in HAC’s latest Municipal Peer Group sessions held separately at the Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennis in July and the Mashpee Public Library in September.
Held quarterly, the sessions are tied to HAC’s Cape Housing Institute which is intended to support municipalities in finding ways to boost the development of affordable housing that is needed on Cape Cod.
Stefanie Coxe led two of our most recent Municipal Peer Group meetings, one on the Mid-Cape in July, and another on the Upper Cape in September.
One way to address the region’s housing needs without developing more land, Coxe said, is for towns to modify their Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw. It is “one tool to start to ameliorate the shortage of 1- and 2-bedroom units” without adding more housing, Coxe said. “We’re talking about repurposing existing bedrooms.”
By updating these bylaws, Coxe said, towns can add more year-round rentals which are in short supply on the Cape.
While she stressed it will not solve the Cape’s rental housing shortage, it will help. “We’ve been talking about the problem for so long,” she said. “Now is the time for action.”
To learn more about HAC’s Cape Housing Institute or Municipal Peer Group sessions, visit www.CapeHousingInstitute.org.