Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Quahog Challenge Cooks Up Hope for HAC Clients

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 10:52 AM
QuahogChallenge17-2.jpgAn attendee samples a stuffed quahog made by Sea Dog Brew Pub in Yarmouth. There were a total of 11 chefs and nine restaurants who competed in this year's Cape Cod Quahog Challenge. 

On a sunny Sunday at the beginning of last month, 11 local chefs and 9 Cape restaurants and their staff chose to donate their time, energy and talents to cooking up some much-needed hope for HAC and the clients they serve.

That hope can in the form of tasty samplers of a regional dish – stuffed quahogs – served up as part of the agency’s 3rd Annual Cape Cod Quahog Challenge at Trader Ed’s in Hyannis. “We all have choices for what we do on a beautiful Sunday on Cape Cod and the fact that you’re all here really means a lot to all of us,” HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi told this year’s competitors.

Together, the 11 participants and the nearly 300 people in attendance helped HAC raise more than $30,000 that will go to support the agency’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the Islands.

In the amateur category, Ron Winner led The Shepley Shuckers to their third straight victory, besting newcomer O’Keegan’s Quahogs cooked up by HAC staffer Jodi Keegan. Keegan and her friend Amanda O’Connell dug up all the quahogs, plus blue crabs, that were used in her recipe.

QuahogChallenge17-1.jpgFor the third straight year, The Shepley Shuckers came out on top in the amateur category. 

It was a similar story in the restaurant category where Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar of Eastham, took home its third title. Coming in second and third, respectively, were newcomers Cape Tip Seafood Market of Truro and Wicked Good Seafood Truck of East Falmouth.

When master of ceremonies Matt Pitta of Cape Cod Broadcasting asked Wicked Good Seafood’s Bill Henrique what the secret ingredient was in their stuffies, he replied, “love” to laughter.

Cape Tip Seafood’s Courtney Roach expanded upon that notion when the market was handed its second place trophy. “If you make it with love, it tastes better,” she said.

“It’s all about the love here today,” Pitta chimed in.

And it’s that special ingredient which will make a major difference in the lives of those looking for safe, secure housing on Cape Cod.

To view more photos from the 3rd Annual Cape Cod Quahog Challenge, visit our Facebook page here

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Broadcasting, Cape Cod Quahog Challenge, Shepley Wood Products, Matt Pitta, Quahog Challenge, Ron Winner, Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar, Jodi Keegan

HAC and CDP to Launch Cape Housing Institute Next Month

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Sep 08, 2017 @ 05:07 PM
IMG_5763.jpgHAC CEO Alisa Galazzi and Community Development Partnership Executive Director Jay Coburn announce the Cape Housing Institute at the One Cape Summit held in June. 

Next month, a collaborative effort between HAC and Community Development Partnership to address the region’s housing issues will begin in earnest with the launch of the Cape Housing Institute.

Starting on Wednesday, October 11 and running through Thursday, November 16, the institute will provide elected and appointed officials as well as town planning and municipal housing employees throughout Cape Cod the tools and resources they need to support the development of affordable housing in their communities. “This is to help the decision makers who have voting authority on housing projects in their towns,” said HAC’s Director of Community Resources Laura Reckford, who has been involved in the planning of the housing institute.

A total of six sessions will take place, starting with an introduction to affordable housing during the first week. Additional topics include planning; conducting a needs assessment; zoning and site selection; financing affordable housing projects; making the case for affordable housing; the Request For Proposals (RFP) process; and next steps.

HAC and Community Development Partnership have secured 12 speakers, from throughout Cape Cod and Massachusetts, who will provide municipal officials with the education and guidance needed to boost the production of affordable housing in their individual communities in a way that makes sense and which fits the character of their town.

Classes are free and will be held at four separate locations throughout the Cape. Hosts include the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS in Yarmouth, from 2-4 pm, on Wednesdays; the Mashpee Public Library, from 6-8 pm on Wednesdays; Wellfleet Preservation Hall, from 2-4 pm, on Thursdays; and the Harwich Community Center, from 7-9 pm, on Thursdays.

The institute is the first step of a three-pronged approach that HAC and Community Development Partnership are taking as part of the Cape Community Housing Partnership. The goal is to boost affordable housing production throughout the region in a meaningful way. Next year, the two agencies will launch an advocacy training effort for residents and community leaders as well as a public education campaign to explain the importance of affordable housing on Cape Cod.

Elected and appointed municipal officials or town staff interested in signing up for the Cape Housing Institute can do so by clicking the button below. 

Cape Housing Institute Registration

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Alisa Galazzi, Cape Housing Institute, Community Development Partnership, Cape Community Housing Partnership, Jay Coburn

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

Walk Celebrates Bob Murray's Passion

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 @ 07:00 AM
HWLW Day Four-2.jpgBernadette (left) and Richard Waystack with Laurie Sexton. Over the past four years the Waystacks have participated in the walk on behalf of HAC. Sexton was walking on behalf of Homeless Not Hopeless. 

Back in 1993, Bob Murray decided to walk from one end of Cape Cod to the other during the height of the summer season, not for himself, but for people in need.

“He was pretty passionate about affordable housing and he obviously felt he had to stand up for people who he felt didn’t have anybody to stand up for them,” said Tony Shepley, owner of Shepley Wood Products, as he helped kick off the fourth day of the 25th Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk.

Though Murray passed away in 2013, he is never far from the minds of those who have continued to walk in his memory. “You can see here today we certainly haven’t lost his spirit,” Shepley said. “I think you can sort of say every step you take, Bob will be stepping beside you, in spirit at least.”

That was certainly true for Richard Waystack of Harwich, who considered Murray a friend and a mentor. On Murray’s final walk, Waystack pushed him 19 miles in a wheelchair. “Bob was a guy who could motivate people to do things and he knew the issues we faced here on Cape Cod going back 30 years,” Waystack said.

This year, he was joined by his wife Bernadette, walking the entire 100 miles, enduring extreme heat and rain all to help raise awareness to the housing issues facing Cape Cod. Rev. John Rice of South Yarmouth, and Nekea Frisbee of Falmouth joined the Waystacks in walking for HAC, helping to raise over $30,000 for the agency’s housing programs on Cape Cod.

“We understand the difficulties of housing here on Cape Cod. I see it. The people who are buying homes are predominantly second homeowners and the pricing has gotten out of hand for many people,” Richard said. “For us, this walk is not only about making people aware about the housing isses and the housing insecurities that we have on Cape Cod, but raising funds to actually combat it.”

Donate to the Walk

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Housing with love walk, Shepley Wood Products, Richard Waystack, Bernadette Waystack, Bob Murray, Tony Shepley

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 and CDP Launch Cape Housing Institute

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Aug 04, 2017 @ 11:37 AM
Housing Conference-2-1.jpgHAC CEO Alisa Galazzi and Community Development Partnership Executive Director Jay Coburn announced the collaboration between their two agencies at the One Cape Summit in June. 

HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi and Community Development Partnership (CDP) Executive Director Jay Coburn have announced a collaboration between their two agencies that would address the challenges local municipalities face due to the shortage of affordable housing on Cape Cod.

Together, HAC and CDP are forming the Cape Community Housing Partnership, a three-tiered strategy aimed at increasing the region’s affordable housing capacity. The first prong of that strategy, the Cape Housing Institute, will be launched this fall with the second and third – advocacy training and a public education campaign – to begin in 2018.

The Housing Institute will provide technical training and education to elected and appointed municipal leaders and town staff so they can learn how to help address their community’s affordable housing needs through land-use policy and other planning tools. The curriculum is being developed with support from Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

The six-week course is scheduled to take place from October 11 to November 16, with sessions offered Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm in the Upper Cape, Mid-Cape, Lower Cape and Outer Cape.

The Housing Institute will be a way for municipalities on Cape Cod to work in concert with one another as they learn the ins and outs of affordable housing development. Galazzi stressed that those needs can best be addressed collectively, with towns on Cape Cod working together to deal with the shortage of housing. “This really is a regional issue,” Galazzi said.

Moving the Needle

Coburn seconded that point by highlighting statistics from the Cape Cod Regional Housing Market Analysis that is currently being undertaken by the Cape Cod Commission. That study, Coburn said, shows, “we need 22,000 units that are affordable ownership units. And we also need 5,000 more affordable rental units and another 2,700 units to accommodate future growth.” 

To accomplish any of that – “to move the needle,” as Galazzi said – will require a cohesive, collaborative effort among all Cape Cod towns.

That was an argument backed by Michael Crane at One Cape, a two-day symposium organized by the Cape Cod Commission in June where Galazzi and Coburn announced the partnership between their two agencies. Crane's Vermont-based company, Crane Associates, is working with the commission to conduct the regional housing market analysis for the Cape. What that study has found, Crane said, is that "You have 15 independent municipalities making decisions, but I still don’t see who is going to tie them all together." 

The Cape Housing Institute is one way that HAC and CDP are attempting to solve that problem. 

Sponsors for the Cape Housing Institute include Shepley Wood Products, Cape & Islands United Way, Cape & Islands License Plate Fund, and the Estate of Bernard Kaplan.

Tony Shepley, owner of Shepley Wood Products, explained his support of the Institute this way: “The lack of affordable housing on Cape Cod is a major challenge for local employers. At Shepley, we believe that our employees should be able to live where they work, so we are committed to supporting this effort to help our Cape Cod towns be able to increase affordable year-round housing in a way that also preserves the unique character of this peninsula.”

To learn more about the Cape Housing Institute or to register for the upcoming fall session, click the blue button below. 

Cape Housing Institute 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Alisa Galazzi, Cape Housing Institute, Community Development Partnership, Cape Community Housing Partnership, Jay Coburn

Anne Van Vleck Joins HAC Team

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 03:57 PM

Anne-2.jpg

At the end of last month, HAC welcomed Anne Van Vleck as its Chief Development Officer, a new position that will lead the agency’s major gifts and resource development efforts.

She comes to HAC after having spent almost seven years as the executive director of CCYP, formerly known as the Cape Cod Young Professionals. During her tenure, Van Vleck helped grow the CCYP’s membership from 350 members to over 1,200. She also instilled a culture focused on addressing the Cape’s workforce issues through mentoring, civic engagement programs, and community summits.

It is this type of leadership that HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi said Van Vleck will add to the agency. “I am confident she will bring the same level of professionalism and expertise in translating our mission to donors,” Galazzi said.

As chief development officer, Van Vleck will focus on major gifts while cultivating new relationships that can allow the agency to grow and expand its services. “I’m thrilled to join the HAC team,” said Van Vleck who lives in Chatham with her family.

While still learning about HAC, she said she has been impressed with the staff’s commitment and passion for the agency's mission. “Housing is a huge issue on the Cape and there is a full spectrum of needs that this agency has a critical role in addressing.”

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Fundraising, affordable housing, CCYP, Anne Van Vleck, HAC donors

Deadline for Mill Hill Residence is Approaching

Posted by HAC Staff on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 @ 12:35 PM

Mill Hill Photo-1.jpg

HAC is encouraging residents and caretakers to apply for an affordable rental unit at Mill Hill Residence before the Friday, July 14 deadline. There are a total of eight affordable units available in the new senior living facility which is being constructed in West Yarmouth. 

The apartments are eligible to those over the age of 62 and who earn 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County. They include a mixture of assisted living units as well as memory care units. Those who work, live or have family whose children go to school in Barnstable County will be entered into a local pool; a certain number of units have been set aside for local preference applicants. 

HAC’s Cape Community Real Estate department is conducting the housing lottery for the eight Mill Hill affordable units. “The facility is fantastic,” said Gael Kelleher, HAC’s director of real estate. “We took a tour of Mill Hill last week and were just amazed at the beauty of the building itself.”

Kelleher said this represents a unique opportunity for applicants to get the care they need at a first-rate senior living facility at an affordable price.

Located at 164 Route 28, Mill Hill Residence will have a total of 75 units. It is scheduled to open in August.

Click here to download a lottery application. Hard copies can be picked up at Mill Hill Residences; Yarmouth Town Hall at 1146 Route 28 in South Yarmouth; all Yarmouth public libraries; and HAC’s office at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis.  Applications must be returned to HAC by 5 pm on July 14.

Mill Hill Residence is the latest facility to be built on Cape Cod by Maplewood Senior Living. The Connecticut-based company also operates Maplewood at Brewster and Maplewood at Mayflower Place in West Yarmouth.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Senior Housing, Cape Community Real Estate, Mill Hill Residence, housing lottery

HAC Holds Information Session for Mill Hill Affordable Units

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jun 09, 2017 @ 02:49 PM
Mill Hill-1.jpgHAC Real Estate Assistant Betsie Rumbaugh answers a question about the lottery application for the affordable units at Mill Hill Residence in Yarmouth. 

When our loved ones grow older, how will we be able to care for them? It’s a question more Cape Codders are asking, particularly with an aging population; a Community Health Needs Assessment published by Cape Cod Healthcare last fall noted that nearly 26% of Barnstable County’s year-round population is over the age of 65, compared to 14% in Massachusetts and 13% in the nation.

The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute predicts those numbers will only grow, estimating that by 2035 nearly 35% of the county’s population will be over 65.

That will bring with it a host of challenges that South Yarmouth’s Debbie Martin and Barnstable’s Cheryl Gibson are already grappling with. The pair were among a handful of residents who attended an information session focused on eight affordable units being built as part of Mill Hill Residence in Yarmouth that staff in HAC’s Cape Community Real Estate department held last month at the Yarmouth Senior Center.

Mill Hill is the latest assisted living facility that Maplewood Senior Living has constructed on Cape Cod. Last year, HAC conducted a lottery for 14 affordable units at Maplewood in Brewster. HAC will be doing the same for the eight affordable units in Mill Hill; a total of 75 units are being constructed there, representing a mixture of assisted living and memory care units.

Gael Kelleher, director of Cape Community Real Estate, said HAC’s role is to determine the eligibility of those applying for the affordable units based upon their income and assets. She said that interested applicants and caregivers should not disqualify themselves or a loved one before applying, noting that there were 45 people eligible for the 14 affordable units in Brewster. 

Both Gibson and Martin attended the session not for themselves, but for their mothers. “It is a lot for families,” Gibson said of serving as a caregiver. Her mother will soon turn 89 and would benefit from being in a facility like Mill Hill that offers memory care services. “There’s so many different aspects of it, between making sure she takes her medication on time to having some social stimulation rather than staring at the TV by herself.”

It was a similar story for Martin, whose 89-year-old mother currently lives at Thirwood Place, an independent living community for seniors in South Yarmouth. “She is at a point where she needs memory care,” Martin said.

She said having affordable units that provide the kinds of services that Mill Hill does make it an attractive option. And it’s something that more people on Cape Cod will require. “When my generation – I’m a Baby Boomer – starts to retire, we are going to demand a lot more options like this,” she said. 

Interested in applying for an affordable unit at Mill Hill Residence? Click this link to download a lottery application. 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Senior Housing, Gael Kelleher, affordable housing, Betsie Rumbaugh, Mill Hill Residence, Maplewood Senior Living

Editorial: Working with our Legislators to Tackle the Cape's Housing Challenges

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Tue, May 16, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

Julian-3.jpgState Senator Julian Cyr (second from left) with HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi (from left), Director of Leased Housing Cindi Maule, Director of Family and Individual Services Cassi Danzl and Chief Operating Officer Walter Phinney. 

I have been spending my first few months as CEO of HAC getting to know the leaders in our community. It has been particularly gratifying to meet members of our legislative delegation and to learn of their passion to help all the residents of our region.

When State Senator Julian Cyr stopped by HAC’s offices recently, he said housing has been one of the main issues at the forefront of his constituents’ minds.

During his visit, Senator Cyr told us, “Housing and access to housing that is affordable is a top issue for us on Cape Cod, on Martha’s Vineyard and on Nantucket. Our real estate market is so aggressive here that most anyone who is a middle-income wage earner, including working families, is struggling to make it here… We really need to have housing that meets our needs.”

Meeting the needs of those in the region when it comes to affordable housing has always been a major focus for HAC and it will continue to be so in the coming years.

I was pleased to learn that even prior to becoming a State Senator in November, Senator Cyr said, he has long admired HAC’s work on the Cape and Islands. “HAC is just one of those organizations that is a real pillar of the community. HAC has been doing work for generations to make sure our most vulnerable have housing.”

After taking a tour of HAC’s offices and meeting the staff on the front lines of delivering housing services for HAC, the Senator gave his impressions of the meeting. “I was just really impressed with the scale and scope of how HAC helps people realize housing on Cape Cod and the Islands, from the most vulnerable people who are homeless living in the streets to helping people improve the energy efficiency of their homes. I have a renewed appreciation for how much HAC does.”

We’re looking forward to partnering with Senator Cyr and the rest of the Cape and Islands delegation on strategic regional issues, and having our voice and mission loudly and clearly represented at the State House.

It is through these partnerships between HAC, our legislators and other leaders in the community, that we can add more resources for our clients and do more to help them succeed.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, homelessness, State budget, Alisa Galazzi, Julian Cyr