Falmouth Select Board Says Housing Crisis At Breaking Point

FALMOUTH – Members of the Falmouth Select Board highlighted prioritizing affordable housing at a recent meeting.

Board members were asked to bring five strategic priorities to consider as the select board prepares to update the town’s strategic plan that will last through 2027.

 Vice-Chair Onjalé Scott Price said her first priority was managing the affordable housing crisis.

“I think we need to make some radical changes because we’re in dire need of affordable housing,” Scott Price said at the select board’s workshop meeting on August 27.  

She said although the crisis is already in the town’s strategic plan, Falmouth is “at a breaking point.”

She suggested goals of increasing housing stock for both ownership and rentals to match the town’s need.

Scott Price suggested looking at other municipalities throughout Massachusetts to see what those communities have done to address similar concerns.

The vice-chair noted that the Cape has its unique challenges that other communities may not.

“We need to keep in mind coastal resilience…, we need to keep in mind wastewater management, and the lack of new land we can acquire,” Scott Price said.

For the “radical options” Scott Price had in mind to address the crisis, she referenced a possible Air B&B moratorium and tax benefits to property-owners who rent long-term.

She also suggested revisiting the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) bylaw and supporting unconventional housing options such as tiny homes.

Other priorities Scott Price listed for the strategic plan included managing the opioid and addiction crisis and coastal resiliency.

She also included decreasing pollution to waterways and wastewater management and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the town’s departments.

Chair Nancy Taylor also mentioned increasing affordable housing stock and prioritizing support for the Falmouth Public Schools.

Board member Scott Zylinski echoed the need to give more attention to the opioid crisis. He also mentioned wanting to provide social workers to the Falmouth Police Department.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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