Work to Begin on Home for Adults with Disabilities in Dennis

DENNIS – Work to build a home for adults with developmental disabilities will begin next month in Dennis.

Friends Or Relatives With Autism and Related Disabilities recently signed a 99-year lease with the town for a 4.5-acre parcel on Hokum Rock Road to build a duplex that will provide permanent housing for eight adults with autism or other disabilities.

“It will be brand new, state-of-the-art housing all on one floor to encourage aging in place,” said Kathy Ohman, the President of FORWARD.

A groundbreaking ceremony for FORWARD at The Rock will be held August 13.

“We are very excited to finally be breaking ground on this project that started with a very generous donation of nearly five acres of land from the Town of Dennis,” Ohman said.

Each home will house four adults. Residents will have their own bedrooms with shared bathroom, kitchen and living area.

The two homes will be joined by a breezeway and deck.

“They can have cookouts and visit with each other across the way,” Ohman said.

The duplex is expected to be completed and move in ready sometime in spring of 2020.

The project was awarded $500,000 in CPA funding from Dennis in 2015 and a $1 million state grant last summer.

It also received CPA funds from Barnsatble, Yarmouth and Chatham. Private donations have brought total fundraising over $2 million just shy of its goal.

“This has been such a community collaboration,” Ohman said.

FORWARD has also received support from the Housing Assistance Corporation with developing plans and working with state officials.

“The Town of Dennis has been generous and just helped us through the process as well,” Ohman said.

Ohman also thanked State Representative Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) for his help at the state house with needed certifications.

FORWARD is also partnering with Cape Abilities to provide services for the individuals who will be living in the home.

“It’s a very unique collaboration that has involved so many people and groups to provide this affordable housing for eight adults with autism,” Ohman said.

Residents have not yet been chosen for the home, but Ohman said all spots will be filled with individuals from Cape Cod communities.

A task force will be created with experts in the field across the Cape to discuss what the next best housing project will be for adults with disabilities across the Cape.

“We also anticipate building on the second half of the property,” Ohman said.

The current project will only occupy half of the 4.5-acre parcel donated by Dennis.

“We have the opportunity to work with the Department of Developmental Services and other agencies again to provide more housing down the road,” Ohman said.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.



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