Provincetown Officials Digest Sobering Housing Report

PROVINCETOWN – A new study recently released by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth indicates that year-round housing in Provincetown is getting even harder to find.

The comprehensive study looked at all data in the housing market, including rentals, construction, affordable and high-end homes and the impact over the last 10-15 years of various housing policies.

The study concludes that wages in town do not allow for year-round residents to afford housing.

“It turned out to be a very sobering study that effectively concluded that just to stay where we are today in another eight or ten years is going to be a very high hill to climb,” said David Panagore, the town manager.

Median household income in the town is just over $42,000 a year, which is about $80,000 less than what would be needed to afford a median-priced home. The median household income has fallen about 10 percent since 2000. Population in the town has also been declining since the 1990s.

A major factor towards the decline in affordable housing is drastic increase of short-term seasonal rental properties, which generate more income than year-round rentals.

“They predict another 300 or so condominiums will convert over the next seven or eight years and that is a huge hit to availability of housing for folks who live here,” Panagore said.

Panagore said the town has to look at economic development from the point of view of the jobs being created.

“So long as we are a tourism-based economy that is creating jobs for people who can’t afford to live here – throwing more resources at that is only going to keep getting more jobs for people who don’t live here,” Panagore said.

Town officials and representatives from UMass Dartmouth met for a roundtable discussion last week to discusses the report and how to move forward.

“I think we need to be pursuing an all of the above strategy,” Panagore said. “But we need to be able to more than likely put more resources to it.”

The town has recently made modifications to zoning, have passed inclusionary zoning, and began tax breaks for second home owners for renting year-round.

“We need to really look at our overall strategy from a supply point of view and a demand point of view,” Panagore said.

Panagore said the first moving piece for him is the town budget.

“We are going to be having a conversation through the town budget about what sort of resources we want to put behind this, what sort of funding we want to put behind this and what sort of staffing we want to do,” he said.

Over the winter community conversations will continue and staff will continue the town’s economic development analysis, which will have a housing component, along with more detailed conversations with consultants.

“It makes projects like Harbor Hill more important,” Panagore said.

Harbor Hill is a time share property with located off of Bradford Street in the West End of town which was recently purchased by Provincetown for 28-units of affordable housing.

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy