Habitat for Humanity Addresses Local Housing Crisis

HYANNIS – As towns across Cape Cod struggle to develop affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod is working on a path forward.  

In a recent interview with CapeCod.com NewsCenter, volunteer and community relations manager Tara Cronin explained how the group helps families get out of the cycle of housing crisis.

“It’s not something that’s only for a couple of years. It’s forever. They’re going to have this affordable home. They’re always going to have a mortgage of $700 or $800 a month,” Cronin said.

Habitat houses sell for around $168,000 for a three-bedroom home.

Cronin said the group receives a lot of applications for projects so local bankers volunteer to help narrow down the applicant pool to people who need a home and who also fall in the appropriate income range.

Applicants must be pre-approved for a mortgage and also demonstrate they are willing to put in 250 hours of “sweat-equity” in lieu of a down payment. This time is dedicated to building Habitat homes.

For the final step of the process, the organization chooses names in a lottery fashion from the narrowed applicant pool.

“Our houses now, pretty much all of them are producing as much energy as they actually use, which is referred to as net zero,” said Director of Construction Bob Ryley, referring to the solar component of the homes.

Ryley also spoke about Habitat homes getting away from fossil fuel combustion as a source of energy as well as adding energy recovery ventilators that bring fresh air in and get stale air out.

The group has several events in the coming months for people to help out or get involved including a program to donate old vehicles, a golf tournament in June, a bike ride event in September as well as a “blitz build” in the same month where a habitat home will be built in Falmouth over the course of five days.

Those interested in volunteering for Habitat should contact Tara Cronin at 508-362-3559 ext. 16. Click here for the group’s website. 

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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