Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Editorial: Celebrating 45 Years of Building Communities

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Tue, Mar 05, 2019 @ 04:28 PM

45th color logo

We have an exciting year ahead of us as we celebrate our 45 years of service. Over the years Housing Assistance has saved lives through our homeless shelter work; changed lives through our education and foreclosure counseling efforts; stabilized lives with our leased housing vouchers and weatherization; and launched dreams through our affordable sales and construction projects. We could not have achieved such success without your support. 

Now is the time for us to stand up again and lead the community to make strategic investments in our region’s infrastructure through the short-term rental tax revenue. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set aside money to pay for big ticket items that property owners alone would have to foot the bill for otherwise. Together we can ensure that Cape Cod has a vibrant year-round community and remains a destination to visit. Now is the time to say yes to housing so we can preserve and protect our way of life on Cape Cod. For more information go to www.futurecapecod.org

I invite each of us to step up and get involved in not only helping to create housing opportunities for our year-round community but also advocating for town leadership to make investments with the new occupancy tax law. We also have work to do to change outdated and restrictive zoning that has added to the shortage of housing in our region. If we provide enough attainable housing for the people who work here so they can live here, then our local economy will become stronger and our community will continue to thrive. Housing is the linchpin that makes our economy and community work.

In the years to come, you can count on Housing Assistance to continue to provide a safety net for the homeless and people living one or two paychecks away from homelessness. And you can look to us for leadership in expanding housing options for people of all income levels. 

We invite you to attend our special 45th Anniversary Celebration on May 8th, become a housing advocate, or volunteer. If you own a seasonal rental, contact us about our Rent 365 program which offers a $1,000 incentive for homeowners who convert to year-round leases, and also provides additional landlord support. 

Please join us in creating a better tomorrow for our neighbors and our communities.  

 CELEBRATE OUR 45TH ANNIVERSARY

Join us on Wednesday, May 8 at the Cape Cinema and Cape Cod Museum of Art as we come together to celebrate 45 years of building strong communities on Cape Cod and the Islands. 

Click this link to purchase tickets as we work together to create a better tomorrow for all in our region. 

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click the button below to get started!

Sponsor the 45th Anniversary Celebration

 

Tags: homelessness prevention, shelter, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, Weatherization, Alisa Galazzi, rental housing, foreclosure prevention, Rent 365, HAC 45th Anniversary, Future Cape Cod, occupancy tax law

Convert Your Seasonal Rental to Year-Round

Posted by HAC Staff on Mon, Jan 07, 2019 @ 03:20 PM

 

Rent 365 Photo-1

You can help solve Cape Cod's housing shortage, earn consistent income, and reduce the headaches of dealing with short-term seasonal renters.

Homeowners with units that are currently rented seasonally can join Rent 365 and receive a $1,000 signing bonus upon completing a year-round lease.

Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) also provides homeowners exclusive access to our professional expertise in the rental industry and a solid understanding of best practices related to Massachusetts' landlord/tenant rules to guide homeowners every step of the way.

contact: David Quinn, dquinn@haconcapecod.org, (508) 771-5400 x288

 

Tags: year round rentals, rental housing, housing crisis, Rent 365, housing inventory, year-round housing

Editorial: Help Preserve the Cape and Islands Communities We All Cherish

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Wed, Dec 26, 2018 @ 04:49 PM

Galazzi_HACbeat (2017)

Living year-round on Cape Cod is not a place for the faint of heart or those who want to go fast. It’s a place where deep connections and a sense of community are sustained. It’s a place where awe-inspiring beauty surrounds us even in the most mundane of activities like commuting to work; where our great schools and community resources weave an enviable region-wide network of services. It’s a place where our unique history, the family legacies of generational Cape Codders, and a welcome stream of new residents form the foundation from which we all grow and prosper.

Preserving the year-round aspects of the Cape we all know and love is a worthy and challenging undertaking. It will take all of us working together in new ways to achieve it.

I frequently hear from other residents their desire to keep the Cape the same. I appreciate the sentiment. I, too, remember fondly the Cape of 2001 when I first moved here. There are many aspects of the Cape’s seemingly slow-to-change cultures and communities that is reassuring.

However, the fact is that external forces in the marketplace are changing faster than any of us expected, and those forces will change our communities for the worse if we don’t take new action. The advent of online rental platforms like Airbnb, coupled with the Cape being known as a safe investment to off-Cape investors, has put increased pressure on the year-round housing market.

We have seen a decrease of year-round rentals and an increase in seasonal rentals. Our year-round workforce is having a harder and harder time finding housing. The sooner we as a community accept the trend, the better decisions we will make to influence the outcome.

Impacting Our Region

Even though most of us reading this likely have a permanent residence on the Cape or may own a second home here, the hidden costs of a limited supply of year-round rentals presents a significant challenge for our region.

Lack of housing for our year-round workforce will influence our local businesses’ ability to innovate and our relevance as a tourist destination. Those of us stably housed will be impacted with higher costs of goods and services and ultimately by living in a museum—our current year-round friends and neighbors will be replaced by visitors from off-Cape.

So while we prepare to embark on a new year, let’s be grateful that each of us is in a position to influence changes necessary to preserve the place we live and love.

We can advocate at the town level to increase housing available to year-round residents. For example, towns can allow Accessory Dwelling Units by right; update zoning to permit denser, walkable neighborhoods in appropriate locations; and link wastewater planning with housing needs.

In addition, we invite seasonal homeowners to consider renting their home year-round through our Rent 365 program. Learn more about the financial incentive and details of our Rent 365 program and download a copy of our recently published report on the impact of insufficient year-round housing at www.CapeHousing.org

We have an opportunity to maintain the competitiveness of Cape Cod as a vacation destination, a retirement community, and a place for year-round families to thrive—but only if we have housing for our year-round workforce.

This effort will take community-wide involvement. Please contact us if you have ideas, questions, or comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Tags: Housing on Cape Cod, Report, Alisa Galazzi, Editorial, Accessory Dwelling Units, housing crisis, Rent 365, Airbnb, housing advocacy, seasonal rentals

Editorial: The High Cost of Doing Nothing

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Wed, Nov 07, 2018 @ 02:11 PM

 

Housing Study-2 (October 24, 2018)

At Housing Assistance Corporation, we have been on the frontlines of providing affordable housing since 1974. Today, our challenges have never been greater. The shrinking supply of year-round housing is getting worse. It is impacting families, businesses, and municipalities. It is a threat to the health of our economy and the very character of Cape Cod. 

The reasons behind this crisis are simple. Since Cape Cod is a desirable location to live and vacation, non-residents and investors are increasingly buying existing year-round properties and converting them into short-term rentals or keeping them for their own occasional use. The stock of year-round housing is rapidly depleting and therefore, prices are out of reach for Cape Cod residents. 

As the regional housing agency on Cape Cod, we decided to take a step back and analyze the internal and external causes of the region’s housing shortage, its impact and possible solutions. We started with two simple questions — what would happen if we did nothing? What more can we do?

Those questions formed the basis of a white paper, “Housing On Cape Cod: The High Cost of Doing Nothing”, that our agency released last month. 

For this report, we relied on the analysis of numerous sources. We interviewed business and community leaders about the effects of the housing crunch. The research and conversations shaped our thinking and recommended strategies. For example, in addition to developing affordable housing units, Housing Assistance Corporation is now investing in the development of market-rate units that will help alleviate the housing shortage. More year-round housing will change the supply dynamic in the marketplace and add more options for all income groups. 

Additionally, HAC is launching Rent 365, a pilot program that incentivizes homeowners to convert their seasonal or vacation homes into year-round rentals. 

This is a challenging time for our region. Low-income families suffer first and most acutely if we do nothing, but they are not alone. Uniting and finding purposeful strategies that mitigate and eventually solve our housing crisis will be of great benefit to our region. If we keep approaching housing in our region with the same old strategies, we will only continue to feed the worsening and self-perpetuating housing shortage for year-round residents. 

Let’s try some new ideas. 

I welcome your thoughts and your suggestions on how we can meet this challenge together.

Housing on Cape Cod: The High Cost of Doing Nothing

Visit www.capehousing.org to read HAC's new report which identifies new strategies for addressing the region's housing crisis. 

 

Tags: Housing on Cape Cod, white papers, housing research, Alisa Galazzi, rental housing, Editorial, housing crisis, Rent 365