Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Chris Kazarian

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Creating New Memories for Cape Family

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 24, 2019 @ 05:36 PM

Michael Fields-1

With Housing Assistance's help, Michael Fields and his fiancee were able to purchase a home on Cape Cod. 

Growing up in Belmont, Michael Fields used to vacation on Cape Cod when he was a kid. “The Cape holds special memories for me,” he said.

Thanks to the help of Housing Assistance, Michael and his fiancée will now be able to give their two-year-old son the opportunity to create his own special memories here on the Cape.

After taking our First-Time Homebuyer workshop last summer, the pair worked with our real estate department, Cape Community Real Estate, to purchase a home in West Yarmouth they had been renting for nearly three years.

“They were so thankful and so excited,” Director of Real Estate Gael Kelleher said of the family. “I’m very lucky at my job because we help make people’s dreams come true.”

“The employees at Housing Assistance were unbelievable,” said Michael. “They were very willing to take the time to walk me through everything so it was easy to understand.”

Since purchasing their home, the couple have taken our Home Forever Post Purchase workshop and have plans to take our Money Matters class, both of which are taught by Director of Education and Engagement Cheryl Codair.

Of his most recent class, Michael said, “It was extremely informative… They made sure everyone understood that your financial responsibilities don’t just stop with the purchase of a home.”

While owning a home has come with newfound responsibilities, it has provided Michael, a select banker at the Falmouth branch of Santander Bank, with “a sense of security and stability,” he said. “Everybody wants security in their job and their home. Owning your own place provides comfort and peace of mind… It is a great feeling to know you own this.”

Interested in becoming a homeowner on Cape Cod? Housing Assistance's Cape Community Real Estate Department has several listings available. Visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org for more info. 

Tags: homeowner, Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, Nonprofit Real Estate, homeownership, real estate listings, first-time homebuyer, Yarmouth, Cheryl Codair

Big Fix-a-Thon Coming to Barnstable

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 04:36 PM

Big Fix Kick-Off (May 2019)-4

Gary (left) and Alex Graham of Graham LLC are among the local builders who will be participating in our 10th Annual Big Fix-a-Thon in October. 

The Big Fix-a-Thon will be coming to Barnstable in October and Housing Assistance is currently seeking recipients to apply for the fundraising day of service.

Now in its tenth year, the event mobilizes nearly 300 volunteers to make small repairs to homes owned by seniors, veterans, and disabled residents in one town on Cape Cod.

Tasks done during the day include yard work; interior and exterior painting; repair or replacement of exterior stairs and fences; and light plumbing and electrical work.

“It really does transform a home,” Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi said last month during a kick-off event geared towards volunteers that was held at Shepley Showcase in Hyannis. “It makes it so people can stay housed and age in place which is a critical component of our mission.”

Big Fix Kick-Off (May 2019)-1

At last month's Big Fix-a-Thon Kick-Off Tony Shepley talked about the importance of giving back. 

Tony Shepley, president of Shepley Wood Products, which not only sponsors the event, but annually fields a team of volunteers for the Big Fix-a-Thon spoke about how it aligns with his company’s mission. “From a sponsorship perspective, what gets us involved in this really... is the concept of repaying your civic obligation,” he said. “We call it civic rent. You put a little back in, you get a whole lot back.”

Volunteers can make their impact go even further by raising funds to support Housing Assistance’s year-round programs. Applications for volunteers will be available starting Saturday, June 1.

Click this link or the blue button below for online recipient applications.

Recipient Application

Hard copies are available at our Hyannis office at 460 West Main Street. They can also be picked up at Barnstable Town Hall; the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce; the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce; the Barnstable Senior Center; and the Hyannis and Centerville public libraries.

In order to apply, recipients must reside in either Hyannis or Centerville. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, June 14.

Sponsor the Big Fix-a-Thon!

Businesses interested in sponsoring the Big Fix-a-Thon should contact Deanna Bussiere at dbussiere@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 270.

Sponsor the Big Fix-A-Thon

Tags: Shepley Wood Products, Community Service, Big Fix, Alisa Galazzi, home repair, Tony Shepley, Hyannis, Centerville, Barnstable, Barnstable Big Fix

Walk for Hope to Raise Prevention Funds

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 17, 2019 @ 01:38 PM

 

Walk Facebook Custom Share Image_Falmouthv2

On Sunday, June 2, you can take meaningful steps to prevent homelessness on Cape Cod and the Islands by taking part in Housing Assistance’s Walk for Hope.

The agency will be holding two walks, one in Hyannis and the other in Falmouth, that will help raise funds for the agency’s prevention programs. 

“With the cost of living and housing continuing to rise, many families in our region are one or two paychecks away from becoming homeless,” said Alisa Magnotta Galazzi, CEO of Housing Assistance Corporation. “This year’s Walk for Hope will allow participants to raise awareness of the issue and help address it.”

The Hyannis Walk for Hope will start and end at our Angel House shelter. The Falmouth Walk for Hope will start and end at the Falmouth Village Green. Both walks will consist of 5 miles and kick off with registration at 1 pm. The walks begin at 2 pm.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance and raise funds for Housing Assistance’s homeless prevention programs which provide one-time emergency funds to pay utility bills or rent or mortgage payments so individuals and families can stay in their homes. Last year, Housing Assistance supported 412 households on Cape Cod and the Islands through its homeless prevention funding. Since the program began in 1993, it has assisted approximately 10,000 clients in need.

The walk is ideal for church and community groups, civic organizations, youth groups, and businesses.  Individuals and groups interested in participating, can sign up by clicking the appropriate button below or register on-site the day of the walk.

Register for the Falmouth Walk

Register for the Hyannis Walk

Among those to already sign up for the Walk for Hope is Rabbi Elias Lieberman of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation as well as several of its members. “Falmouth Jewish Congregation feels privileged to support the Walk for Hope and the vital work of Housing Assistance Corporation,” Rabbi Lieberman said. “When we join the Walk for Hope this year, our feet will be praying a prayer of action and commitment to help address the housing needs on Cape Cod.”

Help Spread the Word! 

With your help, this can be a great community event that makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. It starts with awareness so please invite your friends, family, and colleagues to our Facebook events: 

 

 

Tags: Project Prevention, homelessness prevention, homeless prevention, Community Service, Falmouth, Hyannis, Walk for Hope

45th Anniversary Celebrates the Past, Looks to the Future

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, May 16, 2019 @ 04:39 PM

45th Celebration-1 (May 2019) Edited

Cape & Islands Association of REALTORS® CEO Ryan Castle (from left), HAC CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi, HAC Board Member Peter Freeman, Association to Preserve Cape Cod Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb, and Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Chief of Staff Chris Adams, recipients of our Business Partner of the Year Award.

Nearly 175 people came out to celebrate Housing Assistance’s 45th anniversary earlier this month at the Cape Cinema and Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis.

Emcee Sarah Colvin kicked off the event by highlighting our agency’s past accomplishments that has included, “45 years of building hope for our families, friends and neighbors here on Cape Cod… More than 175,000 low- and moderate-income households have received housing services. More than 20,000 homeless people have been sheltered. More than 13,500 homes have received energy efficiency services. And more than 550 affordable homes have been built.”

Despite all that Housing Assistance has achieved, CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi acknowledged, “the housing crisis is getting worse” on Cape Cod and the Islands.

HAC 45th Anniversary (May 2019)

Incoming Board Chair Peter Muise and CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi make a toast to Housing Assistance's future at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. 

“Housing Assistance has been an integral part in addressing the needs in our region for 45 years and we will continue to find ways to be part of the solution,” she stressed, before calling on those in attendance to do their part. “Housing is a community problem and requires a community solution.”

To that end, the event shined a spotlight on individuals and organizations that are stepping up to make a difference, including Roy Hammer and Jim Hinkle of Cummaquid. The pair, who have contributed more than $100,000 to Housing Assistance over the past 25 years, were recipients of the Lifetime Benefactor Award. In accepting the award, they spoke about the importance of giving locally.

The Human Services Partner of the Year Award went to SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc. which has been providing job support services to Housing Assistance clients since January.

The Business Partner of the Year Award went to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® (CCIAOR), and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) for partnering with Housing Assistance on Future Cape Cod. The coalition is asking towns to allocate a portion of the new short-term rental tax revenue towards the region’s long-term infrastructure needs in housing, wastewater, transportation, broadband, and competitive marketing.

HAC 45th Anniversary-15

Nearly 175 people attended Housing Assistance's 45th Anniversary Celebration earlier this month. 

Following the awards ceremony, incoming Board Chair Peter Muise toasted to the agency’s future at the museum. “It’s all about what’s in front of us,” he said. “We’re in the next phase and we need all of you with us to participate in this next phase.”

Expand Your Participation

  • Become a Housing Advocate! Email advocacy@haconcapecod.org to receive updates about local housing issues and how you can help. 

 

 

Tags: CCIAOR, affordable housing, Alisa Galazzi, Housing Development, Cape Cod & Islands Associaton of Realtors, Peter Muise, Jim Hinkle, Roy Hammer, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Sarah Colvin, SER-Jobs, HAC 45th Anniversary, Association to Preserve Cape Cod

Housing Choice Bill Can Help Cape Cod Year-Rounders

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Alisa Magnotta Galazzi, CEO Housing Assistance Corporation

Our CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi spoke at the State House hearing yesterday in favor of Governor Baker's Housing Choice Bill. It's an important step toward real improvements in access to affordable housing. 

Statement text:

I’m Alisa Magnotta Galazzi, CEO of Housing Assistance Corporation, the regional housing agency for the Cape & Islands.

For 45 years we have focused on serving the neediest amongst us. But we’re broadening the scope of our work because today we see stably employed workers with higher incomes being evicted because their rental is sold and becomes seasonal. In just 5 short years, Barnstable County lost 3,000 year-round homes and gained 5,000 seasonal homes. 

The heart of our housing crisis lies in our outdated zoning, which has inadvertently made it easier for summer people to obtain housing than year-rounders.

Right now, it’s easier to build a McMansion than a multi-family.

It’s easier to build an addition and rent seasonally than add an in-law apartment for a hard-working year-rounder.

This is a major threat to the leading employers in our region as well as the viability of our community. Unlike other areas of the state, we have geographic limitations. Once our workforce moves over the bridge, they won’t commute to Chatham in summer traffic for the same type of job that’s available closer to home.

As we highlighted in our report, Housing on Cape Cod, The High Cost of Doing Nothing, losing our workforce translates to higher prices for goods, decreased access to essential services, and increased traffic from a commuting workforce.

The Housing Choice bill levels the playing field for year-round Cape Codders. There is much more needed to make a dent in our housing crisis and I trust this will be the first of many bills passed. But we can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good and we simply can’t afford to wait:

The consequences of the housing crisis are becoming more pronounced. In March, the Cape Cod Times asked “Where are the children?”, as fewer families are able to afford housing, causing school enrollment to decline. Then in April, we learned that a year-round business is now having to buy housing for its employees. These are troubling trends.

Meanwhile, we’re running out of land. Less than 20% of the Cape is buildable and much of that is in flood zones. Right now, 82% of our housing stock are single family homes. We don’t need more single-family homes on lots the size of a football field. Dividing up the remainder of our land into one-acre zoning artificially drives up prices out of reach of Cape Codders.

We can’t build our way out of this problem under existing zoning, nor should we. We cherish our environment. The two biggest challenges to our region are housing and lack of wastewater infrastructure. Both can be improved by passage of the Housing Choice bill.

We need tools to provide housing and preserve open space and our environment. Density in village centers will offer the right size and type of housing while concurrently creating the economies of scale towns need to build wastewater infrastructure. Those options can become a reality with the swift passage of the Housing Choice Bill. 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod, housing inventory, year-round housing

Connecting Housing Assistance Clients to Job Services

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, May 01, 2019 @ 04:43 PM

SER logo_new

Understanding the connection between housing and employment, Housing Assistance is partnering with Secure Jobs Initiative of Southeastern Massachusetts SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc. to support our clients most in need by giving them access to the Secure Jobs Initiative.

Geared towards those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, the program provides a wide-range of services including resume writing and job search as well as financial assistance to help clients overcome potential barriers to landing and maintaining a job.

“This will allow our families and individuals most in need the ability to access additional resources to become self-sufficient,” said HAC Director of Family and Individuals Services Cassi Danzl.

Lubelia Raposo, the program coordinator for SER-Jobs, said the goal this first year is to connect nearly two dozen HAC clients to jobs. Now in her fifth year at SER-Jobs, Raposo has seen the impact her nonprofit can have on the region’s most vulnerable. “It is a humbling experience and one that makes you very proud when you see people succeed,” she said.

SER-Jobs has been selected as the recipient of this year's Human Service Partner Award. They will be recognized at our 45th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, May 8. To purchase tickets, click this link

Tags: Cassi Danzl, SER-Jobs, Secure Jobs Initiative, Lubelia Raposo, job services

Housing Assistance Helps Address Youth Homelessness

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Apr 26, 2019 @ 04:32 PM

Zelda Bergstrom-1-1

Housing Assistance Case Manager Zelda Bergstrom

Thanks to a grant from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services through the Barnstable County Department of Human Services, Housing Assistance is now providing support to unaccompanied youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness on the Upper and Mid-Cape.

Housing Assistance is one of five local nonprofits that will offer these services, on a part-time basis, to this segment of the population. The two-year grant funds outreach, prevention, crisis intervention, and flexible direct housing-related assistance.

HAC Case Manager Zelda Bergstrom is working with other social service agencies in the region to identify area youth who can benefit from accessing resources to stabilize their housing and reunite them with family, when appropriate.

“I think it’s important to have targeted, developmentally-appropriate interventions to a population that can be very vulnerable,” said Cassi Danzl, HAC’s Director of Family and Individuals Services.

At the same time that HAC provides this case management, Barnstable County will be funding a needs assessment, conducted by Matthew Aronson Consulting, to identify the extent of youth homelessness on Cape Cod and Islands.

Picture Perfect Falmouth Home

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Mar 07, 2019 @ 12:30 PM

338 Sam Turner Road Home-1

This 2-bedroom, 1-bath ranch located at 338 Sam Turner Road in East Falmouth, is a homebuyer’s dream with recent renovations that include a finished lower level. It also has central air.

Priced at $180,540, the home comes with an affordable deed restriction. Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers who make at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and have no more than $75,000 in household assets.

To download an application for this home or to view more homes for sale on Cape Cod, visit www.CapeCommunityRealEstate.org or contact Gael Kelleher, our Director of Real Estate, at ccre@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 284. 

Tags: Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, affordable housing, Falmouth, real estate listings, affordable homeownership, first-time homebuyer

Affordable Condo Available in Orleans

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 @ 12:31 PM

18 West Road Orleans (February 2019)

A 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom first-floor condo is available at Wise Living, a senior living facility in Orleans.

Located at 18 West Road, the affordable unit is being offered for $147,000 and includes a monthly condo fee of $717 which covers utilities, central air, covered parking, and 24-hour security. The facility has a number of guest amenities including a dining area, library, solarium, kitchen, activity area, and exercise room. Dining options are available for an additional fee.

The property must serve as the homeowner’s primary residence.

Eligible applicants must be 62 or older with a household income of 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) which is equivalent to $48,300 for an individual and $55,200 for a couple. Applicants must also have no more than $275,000 in household assets.

The unit comes with an affordable deed restriction.

Those interested in learning more about the property should contact Housing Assistance Corporation’s Director of Cape Community Real Estate at 508-771-5400, ext. 284 or gkelleher@haconcapecod.org, or visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org for an application.

Tags: Senior Housing, Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, Nonprofit Real Estate, real estate listings, seniors, Orleans

Donor Spotlight: Michael and Area Princi

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 25, 2019 @ 05:09 PM

Michael and Area Princi-1

Michael and Area Princi at HAC's Annual Meeting in 2017. The pair have been longtime supporters of our work, organizing a Gift Basket Party for clients in shelter during the holiday season. 

This year, HAC is celebrating its 45th anniversary and for 41 of those years, Michael Princi of Marstons Mills has supported the agency in its work to ensure all on Cape Cod and the Islands have access to safe, secure housing. 

An attorney and senior partner in the law firm of Wynn & Wynn in Hyannis, Princi’s initial involvement with HAC was focused on his profession. “I started to do some legal work, most of it on a pro bono basis,” he said.

Princi assisted HAC in large ways by helping move housing development projects forward through the legal process and in smaller, day-to-day matters, including internal, regulatory, landlord-tenant, and lease issues.

For Michael and his wife Area, giving back to HAC is rooted in their identity and has extended to serving meals to the homeless and collecting gifts for homeless families during the holidays.

Their efforts are tied to the belief that everyone deserves a home. “In order for people to move forward in their lives, the most important thing we can give them is a roof over their head,” Michael said. “Many people on the Cape did not have that available to them before Housing Assistance came along.”

That basic concept, he said, was something that “I identified with, in terms of wanting to give my time and efforts to.”

While housing is HAC’s primary goal, Michael noted that over the years its work has expanded to empowering families and individuals through such programs as its financial literacy classes which help clients maintain their housing through budgeting and improving their credit.

As HAC’s services have grown in size and scope, Michael is proud to have been affiliated with an agency that has helped so many over the years. “I feel like I’ve been part of the fabric, I’ve been with HAC so long,” he said. “A number of people and companies have been so supportive of HAC because they genuinely feel what Housing Assistance Corporation does is of tremendous importance to our community.”

Why We Give: Michael and Area Princi

At the beginning of last month, Michael and Area Princi organized their 28th Annual Holiday Gift Basket Drive, collecting presents that went to 50 families in HAC’s four family shelters – Angel House in Hyannis; Carriage House in Falmouth; Scattered Sites in Hyannis; and the Village at Cataumet in Bourne.

It’s a tradition that began with Michael and his first wife who passed away shortly after establishing the event. “The boys and I wanted to continue that tradition very much in memory of her,” said Michael. “When I remarried two years later, Area and her family blended into mine and we’ve expanded on it and continued it together for the past 26 years.”

With their children, Patrick, Peter, and Brendan, the Princis have been able to build a holiday drive that went beyond the confines of their home and now extends to their family, friends, and colleagues. “At the highest point, we did about 70 families and a number of homeless individuals,” Michael said.

While participation ebbs and flows, Michael said, “every year we manage to get 45 to 50 families allocated out so they all get Christmas baskets.”

Admittedly, it is a lot of work to organize the annual event, requiring the help of HAC staff as well as Michael’s legal assistant, Aimee Uhlman.

All of that effort is worth it for the Princis as they know those receiving gifts would have little to nothing to open on Christmas morning. “We play Santa for people who otherwise don’t have much or anything at all under their trees,” Michael said. “For many of the people who participate, the idea of anonymous giving is important to them… They are doing it truly out of the kindness of their hearts because they know there is a need and they are fulfilling that need.”

Donate Today

 

Tags: Family Shelter, Michael Princi, Holiday Drive, shelter, Area Princi, charitable giving, holiday giving