Housing Advocacy Training Kicks Off Across the Cape

HYANNIS – An affordable housing advocacy training program kicked off earlier this week across Cape Cod.

The collaboration between Housing Assistance Corporation and the Community Development Partnership aims to provide residents with the tools needed to support affordable housing efforts in their communities.

The first of three sessions on the Mid and Outer Cape were held Tuesday.

“We talked about what affordable housing means. Why we don’t have enough of it here on the Cape and how that creates problems,” said Laura Reckford, the director of community relations for HAC.

The session also covered the importance of community members participating in town government.

“We’re trying to teach people to tell their stories and that their stories are really important here,” Reckford said.

The session featured Paula Hersey as a keynote speaker. Hersey is the director of outreach and special projects for the Cape Cod Community Media Center and was one of the first recipients of Chapter 40B housing on Cape Cod in the late 1980s in Marstons Mills.

“I wanted to be here to kick off these sessions to put a face to affordable housing,” Hersey said.

Hersey now sits on several boards and has been a business owner on Cape Cod as well.

“The connotation of people and neighborhoods that are deemed affordable is that they are less than desirable to be in your neighborhood,” she said. “And I really just needed to be here to make sure that folks understood that I was one of those affordable housing recipients.”

Hersey said she hadn’t told her story before because she felt a little ashamed about needing help getting an affordable home.

“This training is even helping myself taking that moment to say ‘I can tell this story. I can tell it succinctly and I can tell it with impact,’” she said.

Hersey felt her story resonated with the room.

“Everyone has a story about needing to find housing and how it effects our workforce as well as our aging and lifestyle communities,” she said.

Upcoming sessions will focus on public speaking and teach the public how to tell their own story and make an impact to government officials.

The session dates, times and locations are listed below.

WEEKLY SESSIONS

  • Mid-Cape Housing Advocacy Training: February 20 & 27, 2018, 12:00pm – 1:30pm, Shepley Showcase, 75 Benjamin Franklin Way, Hyannis
  • Outer Cape Housing Advocacy Training: February 20 & 27, 2018, 5:00pm – 6:30pm, Wellfleet Public Library, 55 West Main Street, Wellfleet

FULL DAY SESSIONS:

  • Lower Cape Housing Advocacy Training: February 17, 2018, 9:00am – 2:00pm, Harwich Community Center, 100 Oak Street, Harwich
  • Upper Cape Housing Advocacy Training: March 3, 2018, 8:00am – 1:00pm, Falmouth Public Library, Hermann Room, 300 Main Street, Falmouth

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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