Sessions on Affordable Housing Issues in Dennis Resume

DENNIS – A series of educational and discussion sessions on the topic of affordable housing continues in Dennis Thursday night.

Judi Barrett with the Barrett Planning Group will discuss the state’s Affordable Housing Statute 40B.

The law was designed to bring affordable housing to cities and towns across the state, but is often controversial and misunderstood.

Barrett will explain the role of the developer, towns and citizens when a 40B is proposed.

“At the end of this, my goal is that we have educated as many people as we could about where we are and where we need to go,” said Bob Mezzadri, a Dennis Selectman.

The series of sessions was a partnership between the board of selectmen and the Dennis Municipal Housing Trust.

Mezzadri said more than 50 percent of the housing stock in the town has been purchased by second homeowners and that the number is increasing.

“Some of them have the ability to pay a lot more than what the value of a home might be which is driving that market higher,” Mezzadri said.

“One of the things we need to look at is how can we deal with some of these second homes that remain empty for six, seven or eight months out of the year.”

The series will conclude with a discussion on a proposed Accessory Dwelling Unit By-Law change for the town on January 10.

The first session last month featured the discussion of a recent Cape Cod Commission housing report.

The meetings are at the Dennis Senior Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Mezzadri said the affordable housing crisis strikes all generations.

“We are dealing with young people who are leaving the Cape and we are dealing with the elderly population who are looking to downsize on fixed incomes that may not be able to afford to stay where they grew up,” he said.

Mezzadri said Dennis needs to help the individuals who work and provide services for those who live in town.

“Our goal here is to better educate everybody and help people who need to be here and who want to be here be able to stay here,” he said.

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