Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Editorial: Meaningful Impact of Canal Bluffs

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 @ 11:52 AM
Canal Bluffs-1.jpg

One of the highlights for me last month at HAC was the groundbreaking at Canal Bluffs, which is the third phase of what will be 117 mixed-income housing units in the Town of Bourne.

We have had a lot of cloudy and rainy days this summer, but the day of the groundbreaking dawned clear and the ceremony took place under beautiful sunny skies. It was an apt metaphor for the project which brings affordable, workforce and market-rate apartments for families and seniors in a residential community off MacArthur Boulevard in Pocasset.

The project continues the partnership that HAC has forged with POAH (Preservation of Affordable Housing) in the development and management of affordable housing throughout the Cape.

We all know about the shortage of affordable housing in the region, but Congressman Bill Keating, the keynote speaker for the event, talked about what a project like this does for the economy, not just in the short-term, in providing construction jobs, but in the long-term for the workforce who live in the homes.

We have long been working to get the word out to the community that people who live in developments like Canal Bluffs are our neighbors, friends and family. Based on recent housing lotteries HAC has conducted for rental and homeownership units throughout the region, the people who live in affordable housing work as waitresses, construction workers, dental hygienists, bookkeepers, mechanics, handymen, truck drivers, legal secretaries, plumbers, bartenders, personal trainers and teachers, to name just a few professions. They are the people who make the Cape’s economy thrive.

During the Canal Bluffs ceremony, I took the opportunity to give credit for the project to HAC’s founder and CEO Emeritus, Rick Presbrey. He had the vision and foresight to put the deal together. Over the past four decades, HAC has brought over 500 affordable units to our region.

The best part of it all is that after the third phase of Canal Bluffs is completed, 117 families get the opportunity to live here, the opportunity to come home, to put their groceries away and have a safe place to rejuvenate, where their children can launch their dreams and where families can live their lives on beautiful Cape Cod.

Click this link to learn more about the Canal Bluffs groundbreaking and what the development means to the residents that live there. 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Bourne, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Alisa Galazzi, Canal Bluffs, POAH, Preservation Of Affordable Housing

Building a Community in Bourne

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 04:01 PM

Canal Bluffs-22.jpg

Those who attended last month's groundbreaking included Julie Creamer (from left) of POAH; State Representative Randy Hunt; POAH CEO Aaron Gornstein; U.S. Representative Bill Keating; Greg Janey, owner of Janey Construction; MassHousing Executive Director Timothy Sullivan; State Senator Vinny deMacedo; HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi; and Chrystal Kornegay, undersecretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

When HAC and the Preservation Of Affordable Housing (POAH) completed Clay Pond Cove in Bourne five years ago, Nancy Nygard became its first resident.

Since then, she has found it to be more than a home. It’s a community where her neighbors have become her friends. “It is wonderful,” she said. “Everyone cares for each other.”

During last month’s groundbreaking for what will be the final of three phases of a mixed-income housing development HAC and POAH are building at this 19-acre site, property manager Karen Kelley of POAH Communities said this is an example of what residents really cherish here. “A lot of people want a home to be a nice, safe place, and for there to be a strong sense of community,” she said. “Those things are really important to people.”

That is what the residents living in the 28 affordable apartments at Canal Bluffs and the 45 individual, family and senior apartments at Clay Pond Cove have experienced. And that is what HAC and POAH hope to provide with the remaining 44 affordable and market rate townhouse-style apartments that will be built over the next year as part of Canal Bluffs III.

When complete, Canal Bluffs will have allowed “117 families who get to live here an opportunity to come home, put their groceries away, and have a safe place to rejuvenate where their children can launch their dreams and where families can live their lives on beautiful Cape Cod,” said HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi.

Canal Bluffs-4.jpgNancy Nygard (left) with Cathie Michel, friends and neighbors who have discovered a sense of community at Canal Bluffs. 

She and several other speakers credited HAC founder Rick Presbrey, who attended the ceremony, for making the project possible. The site was once slated to become an office building for a failed dot com company before businessman Bill Zammer of Mashpee, purchased it in the hopes of turning it into a housing development.

That plan never came to fruition. Presbrey was able to work out a deal with Zammer for HAC to purchase the property for $2.1 million. Presbrey then came to an agreement with the town that allowed HAC and POAH to turn the site into an affordable housing development that has added to the Cape’s rental stock.

“And to you, Rick, for what you have done over 43 years in this region providing housing for people that is one of the most basic needs we can have in our lives and understanding the significance of that,” State Senator Viriato (Vinny) deMacedo said. “You have left a huge legacy . . . and I apologize that people will not even know who made that difference for them, but for those of us today we know it was you and we thank you so much for your efforts on all these people’s behalf.”

U.S. Representative William Keating said the project fills a critical need for moderate and affordable housing on Cape Cod, allowing people who work here to live here. He said it was a project made possible through the cooperation of federal, state, local, and nonprofit agencies all coming together towards a common aim.

State Representative Randy Hunt said projects like this are a critical piece to preserving the character of Cape Cod. “I’m glad people are really united in getting in front of [these issues] and are starting to put more of this type of housing into the market which will allow the working class people to live here,” he said.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Bourne, Rick Presbrey, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Alisa Galazzi, Canal Bluffs, POAH, rental housing, Bill Keating

HAC's Melpet Farm Recognized with National Award

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Mar 07, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

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A little more than a year after the Melpet Farm Residences was completed, the HAC project is in the national spotlight for its quality design and construction. In January, the development received a Silver Award from the National Association of Home Builders Best in American Living Awards program in the category of affordable, multi-family.

Consisting of 27 affordable apartments on 6.4-acres of land adjacent to Melpet Farm on Route 134 in Dennis, the development was a joint collaboration between HAC, the Preservation Of Affordable Housing (POAH), Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio & Raber Architects, Delphi Construction, Horsley Witten Group and the Town of Dennis.

“We believe the overall team commitment to the design and implementation of high-performing building techniques to assist residents with control of their utility costs played a key role in the success of this project,” said Christine Howard, the director of business development for Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio & Raber Architects. Melpet Farm was designed to be a net zero project, meaning it produces as much energy as it uses thanks to green measures such as solar panels.

The town purchased the property in 2001 in an effort to increase its affordable housing stock. It was not until 10 years later that HAC was selected by the town to develop the land into 27 units of affordable housing.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Melpet in October 2015 and shortly thereafter residents moved in. “This was truly a community partnership and the beneficiaries are living there now,” said HAC’s director of housing development Sandy Horvitz. “The real winners are the families that have an opportunity to thrive in this beautiful, rustic setting that has an amazing look and feel, adjacent to a working horse ranch.”

The Best in American Living Awards is the residential building industry’s premier awards program, recognizing the most creative and talented builders, remodelers, architects, designers, developers, land planners and interior designers who have redefined design excellence for homes and communities throughout the nation and the world.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Melpet Farm, Melpet Farm Residences, Sandy Horvitz, POAH, rental housing, Best in American Living Awards

Sandy Horvitz Tapped to Lead HAC's Development Efforts

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 @ 09:07 PM
Sandy Edited-1.jpgSandy Horvitz is overseeing HAC's development efforts. 

After more than 40 years’ worth of experience in the development of affordable housing across the country, Sandy Horvitz moved to South Dennis in 2012. He was set to retire, but that changed last year when he saw an advertisement that HAC was looking for a director to lead its development department.

“I felt as though I still have something left to contribute,” he said.

And he saw HAC, the region’s largest developer of affordable housing, as the perfect opportunity to do just that. “I want to work with a group that has that soul of wanting to produce more housing, that wants to add to the solutions to our problems and not be a bellyacher, but rather be proactive instead of reactive,” he said.

In the fall, HAC tapped Horvitz to lead its development efforts.

A native of Massachusetts, Horvitz’s career has taken him to five other states – New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana and Florida – where he has focused on housing and finding ways to finance projects that make affordable developments possible. He has worked with the Denver Housing Authority, consulted with the San Antonio Housing Authority and created his own firm with offices in El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Denver, Colorado, assisting housing authorities in accessing funding and overseeing the development of public housing projects.

He is excited to lend his expertise to HAC as it focuses its development efforts on everything from employer-assisted housing to multi-family developments to homeownership opportunities. “These next few years are going to be bellwether years for HAC to provide housing to help the economy grow,” he said. 

HAC’s Current Developments

Sachem’s Path (Nantucket) - 40 homes
Canal Bluffs (Bourne) - 44 rental units
Brewster Woods (Brewster) - 30 rental units

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Sachems Path, Sandy Horvitz, Canal Bluffs, Housing Development

HAC Celebrates Completion of Mashpee's Great Cove Community

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, May 08, 2014 @ 04:23 PM

describe the imageThe ribbon cutting at Great Cove Community with Rufus Phillips (from left) of the Property and Casualty Initiative, Nancy McCafferty of Mass Housing Partnership, Leila Botsford of the Mashpee Housing Authority, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey and Mashpee Town Manager Joyce Mason. 

Constructing affordable housing units is never easy, but it is always worth it.

The Great Cove Community in Mashpee, is a perfect example. In 2001 the first feasibility study for the proposed housing development took place. Thirteen years later the project was completed, bringing 10 affordable rental units to the Upper Cape.

Rick Presbrey, CEO of HAC, said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the development last month that time should be taken to acknowledge the efforts that went into making the project a success. “First we are celebrating the accomplishment here today which is a big deal because these things take years, literally years to do,” he said.

By all estimates the wait was well worth it as the close to two dozen people who attended the event – Mashpee Town Manager Joyce Mason; Chair of the Mashpee Board of Selectmen John Cahalane; Leila Botsford, executive director of the Mashpee Housing Authority; and Nancy McCafferty of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, were among the notables – were impressed with the quality craftsmanship that went into the townhouse units.

Consisting of eight 2-bedroom units and two 3-bedroom units, Presbrey commented on their attractiveness. “It’s not too cramped and the inside of the units is finished exceptionally well,” he said. “I think the thing you noticed is the flooring, the colors of the wall, and the kitchen cabinets are really, really fantastically appealing… What has happened here is we have the right builder in The Valle Group that will not lower their standards for something like this.”

Of the units seven will be filled by Mashpee families. And eight of the 10 will be dedicated to those who earn 30 percent of the area median income or less.

Great Cove was funded and built through a collaboration of multiple local and regional agencies including the Mashpee Housing Authority, the town of Mashpee, HAC, the Cape Cod Commission and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

DSC 0062 resized 600The builder, engineer and architect: Christian Valle from The Valle Group, Brian Kuchar of Horsley Witten and Rick Fenuccio of Fenuccio & Raber Architects. 

The Yarmouth Port-based firm of Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio & Raber Architects designed the units with The Valle Group of Falmouth, constructing them and Horsley Witten Group serving as the civil engineer and landscape architects.

Located on Breezy Way off Old Barnstable Road the development is located a few hundred yards away from Mashpee High School which provided an additional benefit to the town. “One of the really unique elements of this project is not only does it increase the affordable housing stock on Cape Cod, but with the unique partnership the town was able to improve the water quality as well by connecting the wastewater discharge of this project to the existing high school,” Brian Kuchar of Horsley Witten said.

As to how badly the project was needed, Presbrey told those in attendance that during a lottery held the week before 112 people came out hoping to move into one of the apartments. “From the point of view of a developer that is good,” he said. “From the point of view of a citizen of Cape Cod, it’s not good.”

Paul Ruchinskas of the Cape Cod Commission piggybacked on that idea later in the ceremony, highlighting the need for more developments like this on Cape Cod. “Massachusetts is one of the highest priced states [for homes] in the country and our wages are lower. All this century the average wage here is 30 to 35 percent lower than the rest of the state,” he said, noting that is why every affordable unit on Cape Cod is “vitally important not only for the 10 families living here and having safe, secure housing, but it’s also important to maintain the economic and social diversity of the Cape so that our workforce can continue to live here.”

Tags: HAC, Great Cove Community, Rick Presbrey, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Mashpee, Joyce Mason

Great Cove Community: Affordable Housing

Posted by Julie Wake on Mon, Mar 17, 2014 @ 07:30 PM

Great Cove Community

The dream of creating affordable housing has become a reality for the Mashpee Housing Authority.  Since October of 2011 when Gov. Patrick announced that HAC would receive the funding needed to build additional units at the Breezy Acres family public housing development, it has been full steam ahead.  “We’re really excited to build this community for Mashpee Housing Authority and the Town of Mashpee.  It has been a wonderful and collaborative effort,” said Adrienne Danner project manager in HAC’s Housing Development Department.

HAC worked with the housing authority to develop ten new townhome rental units consisting of eight 2-bedrooms and two 3-bedrooms.  The townhomes are designed to easily integrate with six existing units, creating a sense of community with communal outdoor spaces.  The environmentally friendly design leaves a large portion of the site undisturbed to provide as much open space as possible.

“We are very pleased to be serving, once again, as the Project Architects for HAC on such an important community-housing development as Great Cove.  With each new project, we look to contribute towards the overall HAC mission of designing and building attractive, energy-efficient, and well-built housing that is truly affordable to local Cape Cod residents,” said Rick Fenuccio, president of Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects Inc.

All units will be affordable for families earning 50 percent or less of the area median income, and eight project based voucher units will be reserved for extremely low-income households (30 percent of area median income or less). 

Residents are expected to move in the beginning of May.  HAC will conduct a housing lottery for all units.  Visit HAC’s website if you would like to learn more about affordable housing lotteries.

A celebratory ribbon cutting will take place on Thursday, April 17 at 10 a.m. on Breezy Way off Old Barnstable Rd., Mashpee.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects Inc.

HAC's Affordable Housing At Sachem's Path on Nantucket

Posted by Laura Reckford on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

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Housing Assistance Corporation’s Sachem's Path home ownership project is on its way to bringing much needed affordable housing to the island of Nantucket.

The project to construct 40 affordable single family homes in the island’s Surfside area is using local contractors who can sign up now if they are interested in working on the project.

Sachem's Path plans are  in a conceptual stage and the project is currently awaiting state approval to move forward.

The scarcity of affordable housing on the island is well-known to locals who have seen the median home prices on the island soar over $1.5 million. Local newspapers have reported that the problem has worsened as more people have bought up houses that were formerly used as rentals to be used instead as seasonal homes.

The island’s 2002 Housing Action Plan survey stated that the housing crisis on the island is the primary source of most of Nantucket’s economic, social and, even, environmental problems.

The Sachem's Path project can be seen as a step toward helping those who live year-round on Nantucket secure stable housing. “It’s a commitment to making a big dent in providing affordable home ownership on Nantucket,” Adrienne Danner, of HAC's housing development division, said.

The project, she said, is also “an opportunity to employ the trades on Nantucket.” She added, “The houses will be super energy-efficient in a well-planned neighborhood development.”

Contractors can sign up below.

I'm an ACK contractor. Hire me!

Qualified buyers must have household incomes at less than 150% of the median income of Nantucket county. Of the 40 units, 25% will be priced for people who earn 60 to 80% of the island's median income and the remainder, 75%, will be priced for people who earn 81 to 150% of the median income.

The entire island of Nantucket is a historic district and so the development had to receive approval from the Nantucket Historic District Commission, in addition to the Nantucket Zoning Board of Appeals. Commissioners on the historic board were enthusiastic about the scale of the houses because they are not the typical "huge enormous mansions" that usually go before the board, Ms. Danner said.

These are modest homes with about 1,300 square feet of living space, she said.

She said the commission also liked the use of Nantucket vernacular elements. "They were really pleased with the attention to historic detail in porches, trim, rooflines and window styles." Also commissioners liked the diversity of the architecture--six or seven house models--within the Nantucket style.

The architecture team at Coldham & Hartman Architects from Amherst, which specializes in energy efficient homes, designed the original plans working with Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio and Raber of Yarmouth, which has expertise in designing homes that meet the needs of historic commissions.

Sachem's Path will consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, located on nine acres off Surfside Road between Miacomet and South Shore roads.

All the units will be affordable and four will be built and sold by Habitat for Humanity Nantucket.

Housing Assistance Corporation was awarded the contract to develop the project by the Nantucket Housing Authority, which owns the land. The housing authority put out a request for proposals for a developer for Sachem's Path in 2010 and selected HAC, noting its extensive experience developing 400 units of housing on the Cape & Islands over more than three decades.

"It's been a really wonderful collaboration with the Nantucket Housing Authority, and Renee Ceely, the executive director, has been a pleasure to work with," Ms. Danner said.

Nantucket Town Meeting voters in 2011 approved the spending of Community Preservation Act funds towards Sachem's Path. The Nantucket Zoning Board of Appeals approved the Chapter 40B comprehensive permit for the project last fall.

Now, according to Ms. Danner, HAC is working with state housing officials who are reviewing the permit to get final approval.

Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank is the construction lender bank for the project and Ms. Danner said, "We're very excited to be working with Cape Cod Five." Two final funding sources are being sought, she said, and once those are secured, construction on the homes can begin.

Cheryl Kramer, HAC's Housing Consumer Education Center Manager, said 88 potential homebuyers are on the list so far for the homes. She periodically holds "Rebuilding Your Credit" classes on the island of Nantucket "to help these folks start planning for the buying process."

Although it is too early to fill out an application for the homes, Ms. Kramer said, it is not too early to express interest and prepare to be good candidates as homebuyers, whether at Sachem's Path or somewhere else.

"I work hard to help these people start budgeting, saving, getting their credit in good standing so that when the lottery does happpen, we will have good applications and people who will be eligible to buy one of the homes," Ms. Kramer said. "We do know that due to the price point of homes on Nantucket, that there are people waiting specifically for the Sachem's Path project."

Those interested in purchasing a home at Sachem's Path can sign up by clicking the link below.

 

Click me

 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Nantucket, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Sachems Path

HAC Shelters In Cataumet, North Falmouth Seek Volunteers

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod will be holding a Volunteer Information Session on Wednesday, June 26 from 1:30 to 2:30 PM at Falmouth Public Library in the Trustees Room on the lower level.

The library is located at 300 Main Street in Falmouth center. Light refreshments will be served.

 The meeting is to inform Cape residents about volunteer opportunities connected with Housing Assistance Corporation, including opportunities at its family shelters in North Falmouth and Cataumet.

Volunteers assist residents of the shelter with child care and transportation.

Information will also be given at the session about the Housing With Love Walk, a Cape-wide walk and fundraiser, which travels through Falmouth on Sunday, July 21. Anyone can join the walk, which helps raise money to prevent homelessness on Cape Cod.

Another topic of the meeting is The Big Fix, a one-day session in September in which volunteers help repair the homes of seniors, veterans and disabled people. This year’s event takes place in Mashpee on Saturday, September 28.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering for HAC is encouraged to attend this session.

RSVP to Mary Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400 ext. 279 or by email at volunteer@haconcapecod.org.

Tags: volunteers, Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, Village at Cataumet, volunteering, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod

Editorial: Hershey's Kisses

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 04:01 PM

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The following is excerpted from a speech made at HAC’s annual meeting and volunteer recognition dinner

Most people on the Cape and islands don’t know much about HAC.

Hershey Chocolate Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania has the opposite problem. Everyone knows what Hershey does: makes chocolate. People value chocolate and get instant

gratification from it.

HAC doesn’t provide instant gratification. But like Hershey’s,

HAC produces useful products. They make lots of chocolate and we make lots of peoples’ lives better.

Here are 10 of the many things that HAC does:

1. Foreclosure Help

For more than six years we have had three people working on foreclosures full time, serving well over 3,000 Cape and islands homeowners. We still average 13 new cases each week!

Our data shows that we have had successful outcomes in nearly 2/3 of our cases. We have never charged a penny.

2. Energy Services

For four decades we have made homes owned and rented by lower income Cape and islanders safer, more comfortable, less expensive to operate and more energy efficient.

Hundreds are helped each year and thousands have been helped overall. And we replaced or repaired 288 failing heating systems last year at no charge, not to mention the 442 we cleaned and tuned!

3. Section 8 Assistance

We have nearly 1,000 rental units where we assist the occupants. Many receiving help are elderly or disabled and many are families with jobs that just don’t pay enough. About 10% a year are able to opt out of the program.

4. Family Self-Sufficiency

Family Self Sufficiency participants get long term counseling to help them build employment skills and increase financial literacy. We have about 50 families now working to earn more, improve their credit, save enough money to buy a house or get more education, and to make progress towards moving away from public assistance.

5. Housing Development and Facility Maintenance

HAC has built well over 100 single family homes and more than 300 apartments, all of which are affordable. We have also built housing for people with disabilities. We have nearly 200 units in various stages of pre-development right now.

6. HCEC Services

We provide time and advice to help anyone facing housing crises. In 2012 we served 3,850 households one-on-one in this way.

7. Classes and workshops

We have held evening workshops for nearly 20 years on subjects such as Creating a Budget, Rebuilding Your Credit, Home Forever for homeowners, and Homebuyer Education.

In 2012 we had 363 people complete one or more of these workshop series.

8. Shelter

Each night, 365 nights and days a year our family and individual shelters provide a safe environment for people who have nowhere to go. We wish shelters weren’t needed, but until they are not, we try to help people make the most of their time in shelter. Counseling, employment services, and education, are all part of daily shelter life.

9. Project Prevention

It is better for the household, and far less expensive, to help prevent people from losing their homes. Often, for as little as $500, we can keep someone from facing the crisis of homelessness. Prevention served 344 households in 2012.

10. Big Fix

Going into its fourth year, the Big Fix is a community outreach project where we organize volunteers, professionals and staff to help repair homes on one weekend in one town each year. So far, a total of 40 homeowners have been helped in the towns of Barnstable, Sandwich and Dennis by the Big Fix through the work of 469 volunteers! This year, the Big Fix goes to Mashpee on September 28th.

Often those we help are elderly and unable to do many of the daily tasks around their homes.

When you bite into a handful of Reese’s Pieces, a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, a Kiss, or a Mr. Goodbar, think of HAC. Hershey’s is a well loved company but it may just be the case that the work we do at HAC is more important.

Come take a tour of our “making lives better factory” right here in Hyannis. There’s no charge and you may even get a Kiss!

Tags: Energy Assessments, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, Housing on Cape Cod, MA Rental Voucher Program, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Cape Community Real Estate

Waldorf School Students Visit HAC’s Curio House at Community Green

Posted by Julie Wake on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

curio tour resized 600
“Houses of the Past, Present and Future” was the theme of a recent block in teacher Kim Allsup’s third-grade class at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod.

“So, I was thrilled when Adrienne Danner of HAC told us that a house of the future, Curio House, is here on Cape Cod and that we could visit,” Allsup said. Curio House is the energy-efficient home that is the first residence at HAC’s Community Green in Sandwich.

Allsup said her class prepared for their field trip by studying the science and importance of solar energy. “We went into the playground at school on a sunny day and touched objects that had been warmed by the sun, including a brick wall, black hinges, grass, pavement and black, plastic composters. Then we worked together to list these from the warmest to the coolest. (The black metal hinges were warmest and the grass was coolest.)

“We also had a homework assignment in which students had to say what fuel was used in their homes and how it arrived (oil in trucks, gas in pipes, wood in trucks.) We talked about how each of these forms of fuel produces waste when burned.

“During our visit to Curio House it was easy for the children to understand the principle of passive solar heat since they had all felt the warm hinges and the warm brick wall at school. And, it was impressive that this little house of the future would produce far less waste than houses of today because there would be no oil trucks or wood trucks necessary. In addition to touring the house and hearing a description of how it operates from Mr. MacDougall, we also enjoyed visiting with the goats and the chickens. We thank HAC, Adrienne Danner and Jim MacDougall for our visit to Curio House.”

Tags: Community Green, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Curio House