Mashpee Selectmen Removes Affordable Housing Initiative from Town Meeting Warrant

Mashpee Selectman Andrew Gottlieb.

MASHPEE – The Mashpee Board of Selectmen voted recently to remove a proposed affordable housing initiative from the fall Town Meeting warrant.

The Mashpee Housing Authority proposal called for using almost $400,000 in Community Preservation funds to purchase available homes on the market to be rented to qualified families at a more affordable rate.

Although the removal vote was unanimous, Selectman Andrew Gottlieb said the board supports the core of the proposal.

“However, we were concerned about a lack of detail in the business plan underlying it,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb says more information was needed on how much rentals would cost, how much the mortgage amounts would be and how many homes would be purchased.

The housing authority goal is to purchase modestly priced homes, which Gottlieb says could require some repairs.

“That led some questions about how far the money was going to go not knowing exactly what the parameters were both in terms of the market price paid as well as the renovation requirement for homes,” Gottlieb said.

“Those are the sort of details we thought were important to have an understanding of before we asked the public to spend its money on these.”

Gottlieb said the housing crisis in Mashpee and across the rest of the Cape isn’t because of a lack of homes available, but because of a lack of homes in the price range for the year round workforce.

“I think it is an interesting idea,” Gottlieb said. “I think taking some homes that might not otherwise be in the marketplace for that segment of the population and providing some limited public subsidy to bring those homes back into the marketplace makes a lot of sense and does it in a way that maximizes the housing we already have on the Cape.”

The initiative must now wait until the spring to go before town meeting members.

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