Cape Cod State Senators Secure $3.5 Million to Fight Housing Crisis

Plymouth and Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran (D-Falmouth)

HYANNIS – Funds secured from the American Rescue Plan Act by state lawmakers recently will add another $3.5 million to the Cape Cod and Islands region’s efforts to expand affordable housing opportunities. 

Plymouth/Barnstable State Senators Susan Moran (D-Falmouth) and Cape & Islands Julian Cyr (D-Truro) made several of the amendments to the COVID-19 recovery bill distributing funding across the Commonwealth.

That made money available to advance accessory dwelling units, rental subsidies and convene a housing advocacy coalition. 

“The situation on Cape Cod has reached a point where young people and working families are being completely shut out of the market because we have such a severe lack of affordable housing,” said Moran in a statement.

Cyr added that without an adjustment to how the region handles housing, the problem—exacerbated by COVID-19—will only grow with time. 

“If we do not fundamentally change our course on housing, year-round working communities on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket will continue to erode,” said Cyr in the statement.

“The price of housing in this special place has climbed exponentially so that working families who do not have a foothold here simply cannot make it.”

The Housing Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit assisting residents across the region with housing, homeless shelters and housing developments, received a majority of the funding to help stem the housing crisis.

Two HAC shove-ready housing projects—one in Bourne and the other in Orleans—will benefit from $2 million appropriated by Moran’s amendment and will create 56 units.

Cyr’s amendment allocates $1.5 million for several initiatives to kickstart developments of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), provide short-term rental subsidies for early educators and those providing services to the developmentally disabled, and convene a housing advocacy coalition. 

The final bill also designates $500,000 for no-interest homeowner incentive loans for the construction of year-round ADUs, administered by HAC.

According to the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors, the median sales price for residential properties in Barnstable County has climbed to over half a million dollars, increasing by 23% over the price of single-family homes in 2020. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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