Affordable Housing Crisis Addressed at Brewster Groundbreaking

Congressman Keating

BREWSTER – During the groundbreaking of the Brewster Woods affordable housing development on Tuesday, Congressman Bill Keating (D-MA 9th) joined other state and local officials in addressing the affordable housing crisis on Cape Cod and the Islands. 

Brewster Woods, developed by Preservation of Affordable Housing and Housing Assistance Corporation, will provide 30 affordable apartments to the Town of Brewster.

“The lack of affordable housing on Cape Cod is one of the greatest threats facing our local economy, and the construction of Brewster Woods is a big step in the right direction,” said Keating.

“In constructing these new affordable units, Housing Assistance Corporation, Preservation of Affordable Housing and their government and private sector partners are creating a roadmap that will lead to dozens of families being able to stay on Cape Cod by this time next year, and that is something worth celebrating.”

The development is expected to be completed by next summer, and add 8 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units, and 3 three-bedroom units to Brewster’s Subsidized Housing Inventory. 

The building will be energy-efficient and feature rooftop solar arrays that will offset electricity costs. 

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy also spoke at the event, addressing the low rental inventory and record expensive real estate market on Cape Cod.

He said that the state continues to address the issue with collaboration from POAH, Housing Assistance, and the Brewster Housing Authority to create more projects like Brewster Woods.

“We remain committed to using all the tools of state government, including direct funding, tax credits and grant programs like MassWorks to produce the housing that the Commonwealth’s economy, communities, and residents need.”

Funding from the project came from a $1.68 million state MassWorks grant for site clearing and other infrastructure work,  a $2.4 million loan from Massachusetts Housing Partnership, $7.3 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity from Bank of America and a $7 million construction loan from Bank of America. 

One million dollars in Affordable Housing Trust Funds from MassHousing also helped pay for the project, in addition to $1 million in financing from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $250,000 in Barnstable County HOME funds, $550,000 in Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) funds, $550,000 in Brewster Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds and $450,000 from Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). 

The Brewster Select Board waived its standard building permit fees for the project.

“Cape Cod’s future as a year-round community is in serious jeopardy due to a housing crisis and multifamily affordable housing units are the only way out,” said Cape & Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), another speaker at the event.

“Brewster Woods is a welcome addition to the Lower Cape that will make it more affordable for those cobbling together a life on our peninsula. I’m grateful to those who have been involved in the project and proud to see it reach such a terrific milestone.”

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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