Polito Announces Supportive Housing Funding in Dennis

FORWARD Receives Grant for Hokum Rock Rd. Autism Housing

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DENNIS – Lt. Gov. Karen Polito joined local legislators in Dennis Tuesday afternoon to announce funding for supportive housing at the future site of FORWARD at the Rock.

The development will create 8 units of permanent supportive, single-room-occupancy housing for adults with autism.

Friends or Relatives With Autism and Related Disabilities, or FORWARD, which was founded in 2013, is working with Housing Assistance Corporation to build the housing development on Hokum Rock Road. CapeAbilities will provide comprehensive supportive services once the development is completed.

Polito said the project is a model for other communities to follow.

“This is such a beautiful solution to helping people with autism and different abilities live more independently, live with their peers and colleagues and have an experience of living in a neighborhood like the rest of us,” Polito said.

Polito said the neighborhood was a beautiful place that she wouldn’t mind calling home.

“It’s a very serene, yet very connected area that they will enjoy living in,” Polito said.

During the event, Polito announced $1 million in state funding for FORWARD at the Rock. It was one of seven supportive housing projects across the state to receive a total of $8 million in funding.

“This grant brings FORWARD to the brink of completing our fundraising and being shovel ready to put a shovel in the ground and break ground here on Hokum Rock Road,” Ohman said.

Ohman said the project is a unique affordable housing collaboration between several non-profits and state and local government.

“As a political science major, for me it is a real exercise in how state and local government can work together to produce much needed housing for adults with autism,” Ohman said.

State Representative Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) echoed how important the collaboration was to make the project possible.

“I’d like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, as well as Secretary Ash for their continued commitment to serving persons on the autism spectrum and ensuring access to safe and supportive housing,” Whelan said.

State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) thanked Ohman for her work and leadership on the project.

“Kathy’s vision of a residence where adults with autism can age-in-place with dignity and respect is now one step closer to reality,” Cyr said.

Before today FORWARD had raised $631,000 towards its $2.2 million goal.

One of the other six projects receiving state funding is the Headwaters Replacement Housing in Wareham/Sandwich.

The project, sponsored by Residential Rehabilitation Housing, Inc., will produce 10 units of SRO housing for very low income adults with disabilities. The project design is highly responsive to the particular physical and environmental needs of the population to be served. Latham Centers will provide 24-hour on-site supportive services.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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