Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

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

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

New Affordable Home for Sale

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 04, 2019 @ 02:11 PM

 

Deer Pond Photo (January 2019)

Are you a first-time homebuyer seeking to become a homeowner on Cape Cod? Applications are currently available for a new 3-bedroom, 2-bath single-family home that Falmouth Housing Trust is building at 72 Deer Pond Road in East Falmouth.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for someone to establish their roots in a great neighborhood," said Falmouth Housing Trust Executive Director Karen Bissonnette. "With the high price of homes, this project will keep a member of our region's workforce here in Falmouth which is vital to maintaining a vibrant community."

HAC is overseeing the lottery application process for the 1,600-square-foot home which is priced at $195,000 and comes with an affordable housing deed restriction. Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers, with certain exceptions; earn no more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County; and have no more than $75,000 in household assets.

Lottery applications are available online (click here) and in-person at HAC's office at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis; Falmouth Housing Trust's office at 200 Main Street, Suite 212; Falmouth Town Hall; and the Falmouth Public Library.

The deadline to return applications to HAC is Friday, January 18 at 5 pm.

Those with questions can contact HAC Director of Real Estate Gael Kelleher at 508-771-5400, ext. 284 or ccre@haconcapecod.org.

More Homes for Sale

Visit www.CapeCommunityRealEstate.org for a full listing of real estate offerings and upcoming lotteries on Cape Cod. 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, affordable housing, Falmouth, real estate listings, homes for sale, affordable homeownership, Falmouth Housing Trust, Karen Bissonnette

Newly Renovated Ranch

Posted by HAC Staff on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 04:42 PM

 

338 Sam Turner Road Home-1

This pristine 2-bedroom, 1-bath ranch at 338 Sam Turner Road in East Falmouth, has seen plenty of TLC in recent years with several renovations that include a stunning finished basement.

Priced at $180,540, this affordable home comes with central air.

Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers, earn at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County, and have no more than $75,000 in household assets. The home comes with an affordable housing deed restriction. 

Click this link to download an application. If you have questions or need additional info, please contact HAC Director of Real Estate Gael Kelleher at ccre@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 284.

To view more homes for sale, visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org

Tags: Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, affordable housing, Falmouth, real estate listings

Celebrating the Completion of High Meadow Townhomes

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 01:51 PM
High Meadow-1-1Melissa Harris and her two children, Isaiah and Arianna, help cut the ribbon to mark the completion of High Meadow Townhomes which HAC developed with POAH in Bourne. The Harris family are one of 44 families who will soon call High Meadow home. 

Since 2012, Melissa Harris has lived in a two-bedroom apartment at the Residences at Canal Bluffs in Bourne, where she is raising her two children all while balancing a job at Cape Cod Healthcare and studying for her nursing degree.

Next month, her family will move into a more spacious three-bedroom apartment at nearby High Meadow Townhomes. “I don’t think there’s anybody more excited today than us because we have been in a two-bedroom,” Melissa said during a ribbon cutting earlier this month to celebrate the completion of the project which will add 44 mixed-income housing units to the Upper Cape community. “We’re so excited and so incredibly thankful that you all took the time to design such beautiful homes.”

HAC CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi said Melissa is, “an example how safe, affordable housing is the foundation from which dreams and hope grow… Melissa is an example of our mission in action and really, truly, the reason we are all here and the reason this works.”

High Meadow Townhomes represents the third and final phase of a project that has brought 117 mixed-income apartments to a 19-acre parcel located off MacArthur Boulevard.

High Meadow-9HAC CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi talks about how having a safe, affordable home serves as the foundation from which hope and dreams can flourish. 

Originally slated for use as an office building for a tech startup, it was purchased by businessman William Zammer of Mashpee who eventually sold it to HAC to develop as rental housing.

HAC partnered with Preservation Of Affordable Housing (POAH) on the project which started with 28 affordable apartments at the Residences at Canal Bluffs, completed in 2009, and followed by 45 individual, family, and senior affordable apartments at Clay Pond Cove, completed in 2012.

The final apartments are significant because of the impact they will have on the 44 families that will move into them in November. “These 44 townhouses and 117 homes and residences that are here for people will be a success story that will drive not only a more successful Bourne community, but something we need on Cape Cod as well,” said Congressman William R. Keating, one of several public officials to attend the ceremony.

State Senator Vinny deMacedo echoed the Congressman’s comments, saying that, “there is nothing more important than being able to provide someone with a roof over their head and a safe and a warm place to go that is affordable.”

High Meadow-25

Tags: Aaron Gornstein, year round rentals, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Alisa Galazzi, Canal Bluffs, POAH, rental housing, Housing Development, Bill Keating, Preservation Of Affordable Housing, High Meadow Townhomes

Municipal Peer Groups Discuss Accessory Dwelling Units

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 @ 03:46 PM
Mid Cape Peer Group (July 2018)Stefanie Coxe (third from right) discusses Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaws during the Mid-Cape Municipal Peer Group meeting this summer. 

Modifying each town’s Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw is not a panacea for Cape Cod’s housing issues, but it can help.

That was the message Stefanie Coxe, a consultant for Smarter Cape Cod, a coalition of community groups, had for town officials from the Mid-Cape and the Upper Cape taking part in HAC’s latest Municipal Peer Group sessions held separately at the Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennis in July and the Mashpee Public Library in September.

Held quarterly, the sessions are tied to HAC’s Cape Housing Institute which is intended to support municipalities in finding ways to boost the development of affordable housing that is needed on Cape Cod.

DSC_5291

Stefanie Coxe led two of our most recent Municipal Peer Group meetings, one on the Mid-Cape in July, and another on the Upper Cape in September. 

One way to address the region’s housing needs without developing more land, Coxe said, is for towns to modify their Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw. It is “one tool to start to ameliorate the shortage of 1- and 2-bedroom units” without adding more housing, Coxe said. “We’re talking about repurposing existing bedrooms.”

By updating these bylaws, Coxe said, towns can add more year-round rentals which are in short supply on the Cape.

While she stressed it will not solve the Cape’s rental housing shortage, it will help. “We’ve been talking about the problem for so long,” she said. “Now is the time for action.”

To learn more about HAC’s Cape Housing Institute or Municipal Peer Group sessions, visit www.CapeHousingInstitute.org.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Housing Development, Cape Housing Institute, Stefanie Coxe, Municipal Peer Groups, Accessory Dwelling Units, ADUs, Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw

HAC Helps Municipalities Address Housing

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 10:24 AM
Peer Group Photo-1Mashpee Selectman John Cotton (second from right) talks about the affordable housing projects being conducted in his town during the Upper Cape Affordable Housing Municipal Peer Group meeting. 

Municipal officials from every town on Cape Cod have come together in recent months to talk about ways they are tackling housing issues in their communities.

The effort is part of the Cape Housing Institute, a collaboration between Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and Community Development Partnership (CDP). HAC is organizing Affordable Housing Municipal Peer Groups in the Upper and Mid-Cape while CDP is organizing the peer groups on the Lower and Outer Cape.

From 69 units of affordable apartments the Town of Yarmouth is building at the former Cavalier Motel on Route 28 to 42 rental units the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is building off Meetinghouse Road, participants have learned about efforts being made to address the need for more affordable housing on Cape Cod.

The peer groups meet for two-hour sessions each quarter. Elected and appointed municipal officials as well as town staff are invited to participate.

The peer groups have been formed as a way to provide additional support, tools, and resources to help expand the development of affordable housing that is necessary for those of all income levels.

This month, the peer groups met for the second time, focusing on how an accessory dwelling unit bylaw can be used to expand a town’s affordable housing inventory.

The peer groups are one way HAC is working with municipal leaders and the general public to address the region’s housing issues. During the first Mid-Cape session held at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, HAC Director of Community Relations Laura Reckford told attendees that the people who need affordable housing “aren’t the enemy. They are you and me. They are community members... The people who need affordable housing is all of us throughout the community.”

To take part in future Municipal Peer Group sessions, contact Laura Reckford at lreckford@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 273. 

Tags: Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Laura Reckford, Cape Housing Institute, Community Development Partnership, Cape Community Housing Partnership, Municipal Peer Group

Applications Available for High Meadows Townhomes in Bourne

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 09:34 AM
High Meadow-1High Meadows Townhomes represents the third and final phase of a 117-unit affordable housing project in Bourne that includes Canal Bluffs and Clay Pond Cove. 

Last year at this time, HAC and the Preservation Of Affordable Housing (POAH) took part in a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of 44 affordable townhouse apartments the two nonprofits are building in Bourne as part of High Meadows Townhomes.

Now, HAC is accepting applications for those 2- and 3-bedroom apartments which will go to those in three separate income categories: those earning 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County ($20,700 for a 2-person household; $23,300 for a 3-person household); those earning 60% AMI ($41,400 for a 2-person household; $46,560 for a 3-person household); and those earning 75% AMI ($51,750 for a 2-person household; $58,200 for a 3-person household).

Applications are currently available online by clicking this link as well as at HAC’s office at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis; Bourne Town Hall at 24 Perry Avenue in Buzzards Bay; Jonathan Bourne Public Library at 19 Sandwich Road in Bourne; and Clay Pond Cove at 101 Harmony Hill Road in Bourne.

HAC’s Cape Community Real Estate department will be conducting the lottery for those units and has already witnessed a high demand for people seeking to live there. “They are brand new, have air conditioning, are going to have very low utility costs, and have plenty of parking,” said Gael Kelleher, HAC’s real estate director. “This is really a beautiful project.”

She encouraged residents to “get your application in as early as possible and include all of the documentation that is required.”

For those who may be unsure about their eligibility, she said, “when in doubt, apply.” Applications must be received by 5 pm on Wednesday, August 15.

Kelleher anticipated that the lottery to create the list of eligible tenants will be done at some point in September, depending on the number of applications received. POAH will oversee the tenant selection process.

Apartments should be occupied at some point in the fall, Kelleher said.

Those with questions about the application or lottery process should contact Gael Kelleher at either ccre@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 284. Click this link for more information or to download a lottery application.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, year round rentals, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, affordable housing, Canal Bluffs, POAH, rental housing, Preservation Of Affordable Housing, High Meadows Townhomes

Editorial: A Need for Rental Housing

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Tue, Jul 03, 2018 @ 03:37 PM

 

House For Rent Photo-1

We’re all concerned about maintaining the vibrancy of our local community and economy. The lack of year-round rentals in the region is having a dire effect on the Cape and Islands, an issue reinforced by the Cape Cod Commission’s recent Regional Housing Market Analysis. The problem is only going to get worse. By 2025, the report forecasts the Cape’s housing unit gap will be more than 33,000 homes.

“Cape Cod’s housing supply is heavily skewed towards single family homeownership, resulting in a historically narrow supply of rental housing in our market,” said Cape Cod Commission Affordable Housing Specialist Heather Harper. “Nationally, 30% of the housing is supplied by the rental market. On Cape Cod, we are below the national average with less than 20% of stock provided as rentals.”

Many in our region are working on this problem. At HAC, we are developing rental units; promoting accessory apartments as a zoning change; and holding workshops at our Cape Housing Institute and Advocacy Training with our partner Community Development Partnership.

Another solution is to convert seasonal rentals to year-round use. According to the commission, roughly 58,500 of the Cape’s nearly 160,000 homes are used seasonally. If we can convert some these to year-round use, it will be a step forward to solving the Cape’s lack of rentals.

Unfortunately, this won’t be easy. Realtor Margo Pisacano, owner of Margo & Company, said today’s real estate market is encouraging landlords to sell rather than rent when leases terminate, only serving to exacerbate the problem.

Pisacano has been in the real estate industry since 1992 on Cape Cod, calling recent years “the worst housing shortage I have seen.”

HAC Can Help

Addressing the Cape’s lack of rentals is so important that we at HAC are willing to walk homeowners and investors through the process of converting a seasonal rental into an affordable unit.

We are not naïve about this multi-faceted problem. It is complicated by our seasonal economy and low wages which negatively affect the ability of Cape Codders to afford a rental. Additionally, wealth earned off-Cape allows people to pay exorbitant prices to buy houses on Cape which artificially raises the cost to both purchase a home and rent one.

High prices are forcing our year-rounder workforce out of the market and will eventually force them off Cape Cod. This will have a negative impact on employers. As Matthew Cole, CEO of Cape Associates, said, “the available pool of workers suffers as a result of a lack of housing.”

Using our existing inventory for more year-round rentals makes financial sense for the community, for property owners, for businesses, and the local economy. There is a perception that short-term rentals are more lucrative, but our research shows this is not the case. If you are interested in renting your property to a year-round renter, call me today at 508-771-5400 ext. 225 and we can help you get started.

Tags: year round rentals, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, rental housing, Housing Development, Cape Cod Commission, Heather Harper, Cape Associates

From Homelessness to Hope to Housing

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 @ 09:45 AM
Moriya SmithMoriya Smith with Labouré College President Maureen Smith at her graduation last May. Moriya is now studying for her bachelor's degree. 

Almost 20 years ago, when Moriya Smith was only a teenager, she became homeless, fending not only for herself, but her firstborn son Reggie. “I had to go into a shelter,” she said. “I didn’t have a place to stay. It was horrible, probably the worst experience of my life.”

Today, the pain of that experience has been washed away by the success she has achieved as a single mother – she has two other children Marissa and Maranda – who works full-time as a registered nurse. She is currently studying to earn her bachelor’s degree, and is saving money through HAC’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to one day become a homeowner on Cape Cod.

Originally from Boston, Smith moved to Brewster nearly two years ago, initially working with HAC to secure a rental. “You helped me with my first and last month’s rent which was a big burden lifted from me,” Smith said. “And then my oldest daughter needed a bed so [HAC] gave me a mattress and box spring… They [HAC] were like my little angels. They really helped me. I was still in school and had not yet finished so I wasn’t working and money was tight, very tight.”

As Smith describes it, money was so tight that while she was working towards her associate’s degree and commuting to Labouré College from Cape Cod to Milton, she sometimes didn’t know if she could pay for the gas to make the trip.

Despite these obstacles, Smith has been able to flourish thanks to those around her who have offered their support.

One of those is HAC’s FSS Coordinator Jan Nelson, who has worked with Smith since she entered the program in September 2016. “I have never met anyone like her who is not only supportive, but caring and who I feel is 100 percent in my corner for everything,” Smith said.

Nelson has provided that support and care through FSS which provides incentives for Section 8 voucher holders to increase their earnings. As one’s income increases, their rent increases, and the difference between the original rent and the increased rent is placed into an escrow account which FSS clients can access once they graduate.

Before Smith graduated from Labouré last May, Nelson recommended her for the One Family Scholarship, given to low-income single parents to further their education. Smith was selected for the scholarship which she is using as she pursues her bachelor’s from Labouré in the hopes of becoming a family nurse practitioner.

In the fall, Smith landed a job as a nurse in a long-term care facility on the Cape, a position that has added financial stability to her life.

When she eventually graduates from FSS, Smith plans on using the money to become a homeowner, something she never could have envisioned two decades ago when she was homeless. “I feel like those things, those unfortunate events in my life have made me strong and made me who I am today,” she said.

Give Hope to a HAC Client

Tags: Section 8, Jan Nelson, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Family Self Sufficiency, homelessness, One Family Scholarship, FSS, hope, affordable housing, Moriya Smith, Brewster