Second Round of Cape Cod Housing Advocacy Training Planned

CAPE COD – The Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and Community Development Partnership (CDP) are launching the second iteration of the Cape Housing Advocacy Training next month.

The training is a collaborative effort between the two nonprofits to provide people throughout the region with the tools to support affordable housing in their communities.

“Advocacy is an important part of both of our organizations strategy to increase the availability of year round housing, especially for our working neighbors. Affordable and attainable housing,” HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi said.

“New this year we’re going to be adding a kind of a mock planning board meeting. So, we’ll be practicing in the setting of public speaking and advocating for housing as if we were at a planning board meeting.”

A shortage of over 4,500 affordable housing units is driving many working families and lower-income households, as well as the businesses and customers that rely on them, into crisis.

“We lost 5,000 year round housing units in the past five years and are being made up in seasonal units,” said Nexus Werx Consultant Stefanie Coxe.

“We’re seeing people who are renters who have never had a late payment and have been incredibly responsible with their rent being displaced because their landlords are either selling to second homeowners who want the home to themselves, or they’re trying their hand at AirBnB and other short term rental options.”

Free training will be hosted by HAC and CDP in varying towns across the Cape. The training is open to anyone interested in learning more about the housing crisis on Cape Cod and the Islands.

“The most important thing with getting any new group of volunteers engaged in advocacy is getting them comfortable with what the process looks like,” Coxe added.

“I think that people across the Cape, regardless of whether or not they themselves need housing, are coming to realize that housing is something that touches all of us, regardless of our income.”

All participants are asked to pre-register for the training.

Participants on the Lower and Outer Cape can register at capecdp.org. Participants on the Mid and Upper Cape can register at capehousinginsitute.org.

These workshops are designed to provide an overview of the housing crisis and how individual residents can make impact with an emphasis on practicing their advocacy skills with each other in a variety of simulated official and social settings.

The workshop dates, times and locations are as follows:

February 2, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Wellfleet Preservation Hall

February 23, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Harwich Community Center

Snow Date for Lower and Outer Cape: March 2, 9:00am – 2:00pm, Harwich Community Center

March 2, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Council on Aging – Yarmouth

March 4, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Mashpee Town Hall

March 14, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Barnstable Town Hall

Snow Date for Upper and Mid-Cape, TBD

The Housing Advocacy workshops are supported by funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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