Officials in Chatham Establish Task Force to Keep Young Families in the Community.

CHATHAM – Officials in Chatham are moving forward with efforts to keep young families in the community.

Though the retention of younger residents continues to be a matter of concern all across the Cape, the issue is particularly evident in Chatham, where only 44 percent of homes are occupied by full-time residents.

The town’s board of selectmen has voted to create a task force to look into the matter and to develop solutions to make it easier for young working families to stay in Chatham.

Chatham already has one of the commonwealth’s oldest populations and according to the latest census data the problem is only getting worse with a death rate 7-times higher than the rate of births.

“That’s kind of a clarion call that things are out of balance,” said resident Michael Westgate, “The problem is not getting better, it’s getting worse.”

Following a public comment period, the board voted unanimously to authorize Town Manager Jill Goldsmith to consider the size and composition of the new committee. They will take up the matter again at their meeting next week.

The task force will look into issues including career opportunities, housing costs, town services, and education as that they work to lure younger families.
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