Build Support for Local Housing

Every day people come into Housing Assistance’s offices looking for help because their landlord is selling their rental, and there is nowhere for them to move. You can help by supporting projects and programs that add to the housing inventory on the Cape. If you’d like to help, contact Scott Lajoie at (774) 238-6985 or slajoie@haconcapecod.org.

The Problem: The Cape Needs More Affordable Housing

  • We are in a housing crisis. The people who work on Cape cannot afford to live on Cape. Soaring rental and ownership prices have put housing out of reach of our year-round workforce.
  • There is simply not enough rental inventory. We have less than a 1% vacancy rate for rentals, when 7% is considered healthy.
  • Businesses — from retail stores to restaurants to service providers to tourism destinations — do not have the workforce needed to meet the demand of our summer visitors because workers can’t afford to live here.

Advocacy Training

Show Up, Speak Up for Housing

This fall, your towns need to hear that solving our region’s housing crisis is important to you!

Public officials listen to the voters in their town, but if we don’t show up, call, or email them and ask them to prioritize housing, they don’t know how much we care.

We’re asking all our housing advocates to attend a Town Meeting/Board of Selectmen/Town Council meeting and speak during public comment. Find meeting details on your town’s website. You can send an email comment, like the one below, if you can’t attend:

“We have a housing crisis that’s displacing Cape Codders. Please take action to increase housing inventory and affordability in our town.”

Watch our One-Hour to Town Meeting Confidence workshop below to learn how easy it is to get involved in town meeting and why your support is critical to addressing the affordable housing crisis on Cape Cod and the Islands.

If you’d like additional talking points and support for attending a town meeting, please check out our Housing Advocate Toolkit by clicking the buttons below. You can also contact us at advocacy@haconcapecod.org if you want to learn about upcoming opportunities to get involved in housing issues in your town.

Public Comment Outline

Housing Crisis Talking Points

Five Steps for Speaking at a Public Meeting

Cape Housing Advocacy Training

Since 2018, Housing Assistance has hosted annual Advocacy Training Workshops to give residents the education, resources, tools and support to speak up in favor of affordable housing that is sorely needed in their communities.

In September 2020, we held a virtual One Hour to Town Meeting Confidence Training with over two dozen people in attendance learning the practical skills to become a champion of affordable and attainable housing for our year-round population. In March 2019, we hosted advocacy training workshops in Yarmouth, Barnstable and Mashpee, with more than 60 residents trained to speak in favor of housing at town meetings. If you registered for any of our advocacy workshops in the past, we’ll be sure to notify you when the next sessions are scheduled. We are always updating our materials to highlight the most current issues in our towns.

If you haven’t registered yet, please sign up below to be notified of our next advocacy session.

Advocacy Training gives people throughout Cape Cod the tools to support affordable housing that is needed in their communities so that the region’s workforce and others can afford to live here.

Our Advocacy Training sessions are focused on:

  • Basics of the Cape’s Housing Crisis
  • How Public Housing Decisions are Made
  • Your Opportunities to Engage
  • Common Arguments Against Housing (NIMBY: Not In My Backyard)
  • Counter Arguments to Support Housing (YIMBY: Yes In My Backyard)
  • How to Frame Your Message
  • Speaking with Confidence
  • Interactive Practice
  • Ways You Can Help: Attend Public Meetings; Contact Public Officials; Write Letters to the Editor; and More!

Sign up below to stay updated on future Advocacy Training workshops as well as advocacy opportunities available in your community. If you haven’t already registered previously, please fill out the form below and we’ll include you on advocacy training invitations and updates.

Sign up now

Cape Housing Institute

Free Training for Elected & Appointed Municipal Leaders & Town Staff

What’s your vision for our community in 10, 20, or even 50 years? Together, we can build it. And housing is the foundation. This is our fourth year of presenting Housing Institute training for municipal leaders and more than 200 officials have participated to date!

In 2021, we are offering a series of in-depth trainings and peer groups for municipal officials. If you serve your town as an elected or appointed official, volunteer committee member, or staff — or you want to learn how you can support housing initiatives in your town — contact advocacy@haconcapecod.org to be notified of future trainings.

In August 2020, we partnered with Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) in organizing a Diversifying Housing Opportunities that highlighted ways communities can adopt more inclusive zoning measures.

We also welcomed more than 50 municipal officials to our Form-Based Code Workshop in February 202. Form-based code takes a visual approach to zoning that describes the type of buildings that towns want to see in specific areas—rather than a traditional zoning approach that describes what cannot be built and includes a lot of detail about building uses. Form-based code is a tool that community members, town governments and developers can use to help housing get built faster and with fewer conflicts than traditional zoning. Many towns of the Cape are considering form-based code as a way of promoting quicker housing production.

In November 2019, nearly 100 municipal officials and a limited number of community leaders and REALTORS attended a full-day  training on local housing solutions that work! We presented town-specific case studies as well as expert presentations by town and regional housing leaders, wastewater experts, affordable housing management companies, and more.

These trainings have been offered free of charge, thanks to support from the people of Falmouth through the Community Preservation Fund; The Campbell Worthington Jr Fund and The OKeefe Family Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation; and The Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS (CCIAOR).

Rent 365 Landlord Resources,
Cape Housing Institute for Towns,
& Resident Advocacy Training

Housing Assistance Corporation is known for all our services to help tenants succeed, but we know that’s only part of the solution. It takes effective, successful participation from every sector to build a strong community based on stable housing. That’s why Housing Assistance also provides free resources for landlords through Rent 365; we train municipal officials to promote affordable and attainable housing in their towns through the Cape Housing Institute; and we train residents to become advocates for changes in town policy to support housing.

In 2018, Housing Assistance released a new report: Housing on Cape Cod: The High Cost of Doing Nothing. The report details the impact the lack of housing has on our economy and also sets forth recommendations of how together we can build a stronger future. It will take all of us, but we can build a vibrant and resilient local community where everyone has access to safe, decent housing.

Housing on Cape Cod Report
Download Housing Report