Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Editorial: Celebrating 45 Years Building Strong Communities Together

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Mon, Jan 14, 2019 @ 12:09 PM

 

45 Years Website Image 2

It is only with the sustained support of a vast network of donors, volunteers, towns, partner agencies, and of course, our dedicated staff, that Housing Assistance has reached more than 170,000 people on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket facing a housing crisis. Thank you for your support!

In 1974, Rick Presbrey founded Housing Assistance, operating the fledgling nonprofit out of a cramped West Yarmouth garage converted into an office. The agency had just one program, overseeing the state’s Chapter 707 Rental Assistance to provide affordable apartments to our region’s workforce, seniors and disabled residents.

Over 43 years of service, Presbrey, the organization, and our network of supporters developed myriad programs to help homeless, low-income and middle-income families achieve a stable housing foundation. When Presbrey retired in 2017, I was grateful for the opportunity to carry on this legacy of building strong communities through housing.

Home is where we make our dreams come true. Home is where we launch our lives. And it is the mission of Housing Assistance. I couldn’t agree more.

This year, I’m asking all of you to join us in ensuring that all our neighbors have the opportunity to have a home. Today, more than ever, our region faces a critical housing shortage. Recent surveys have shown that we need at least 4,500 more small units to house our service workforce, our young professionals, and seniors wishing to downsize.

How You Can Help

It is going to take all of us, acting in many different capacities, to ensure that we are building a solid foundation of housing that can sustain our community into the future. We invite you to join us as we look toward the future and explore new ways we can support housing development that supports our people, respects our environment, and fits within our regional culture. At Housing Assistance, we are committed to expanding our impact on the region, though some exciting new initiatives:

We will train more citizens to advocate for housing solutions that work for their town. This means not just building more affordable housing developments, but also making sure our communities have appropriate housing for their local workforce, young professionals and seniors.

With citizen involvement, we can help towns update zoning laws to allow for more dense, walkable village centers and accessory dwelling units, like apartments in an existing home’s basement or over a garage. Ensuring the availability of appropriate, affordable housing for everyone in our community is the way we can build a strong foundation for our future.

We will develop more innovative partnerships. Through cooperation with other agencies such as job training providers and healthcare organizations, we can make donor dollars go further and increase the benefit we deliver to our most vulnerable neighbors.

And of course we will continue our core programs to help our neighbors in need:

  • We will build more housing for our workforce and the elderly.
  • We will shelter families living on the streets, in the woods, or in their cars.
  • We will educate people to take control of their financial goals and well-being.

Our region is changing, and the housing crisis could be the issue that prevents our region from prospering. Or if we all become part of the solution, housing can be the issue that unites us and makes us stronger. We hope you’ll join us throughout this year in advocating to build stronger communities.

Get Involved with Housing Assistance Corporation

Join us in celebrating our 45th anniversary by helping us move forward in addressing the region's housing crisis by: 

  • Serving as a HAC Volunteer (click here)
  • Serving as an Advocate for the housing needed on Cape Cod and the Islands (click here)
  • Serving as a HAC Donor to ensure we can continue to assist our neighbors in need (click here)

Tags: HCEC, Family Shelter, Rick Presbrey, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, workforce housing, housing consumer education, Alisa Galazzi, Housing Development, Editorial, Cape Housing Advocacy Training, housing crisis, housing advocacy, HAC 45th Anniversary, zoning

Lovely Eastham Condo

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 @ 12:38 PM

 

70 Dory Front for use

This one-bedroom, one-bath Eastham condo at 70 Dory Lane is being offered at $154,399 with a deed restriction. Featuring 750-square feet of living space and a garage, it’s perfect for a first-time homebuyer on Cape Cod.

The $123 monthly condo fee covers snow removal and landscaping.

Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers, with some exceptions; have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County; and have less than $75,000 in assets.

Click this link for an application. To see more affordable listings for sale, visit Cape Community Real Estate's website here.

Tags: Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, workforce housing, Nonprofit Real Estate, affordable housing, homeownership, Betsie Rumbaugh, real estate listings, affordable homeownership, first-time homebuyer

Donor Spotlight: Tony Shepley

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 10:34 AM

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In 1978, Tony Shepley opened the doors to his new company, Shepley Wood Products, in Hyannis.

With little experience in business – he had moved to the Cape eight years earlier, making his living as a musician in a rock band – and $4,000 to invest in his fledgling venture, Tony has grown that small company to one that currently employs 160 people. 

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Shepley Wood Products’ impact can be felt throughout the region with a main office and yard in Hyannis, a branch yard in Wellfleet, and a sales office on Nantucket.

With all of his success, Tony has remained committed to giving back to this place that he and his wife Lorraine and their two sons call home. That commitment has not only been recognized by HAC, which honored Shepley Wood Products with its 2011 Business Partner of the Year Award, but by the Hyannis Elks (2012 Distinguished Citizenship Award), the Cape and Islands United Way (2002 Citizen of the Year), and Philanthropy Partners of the Cape & Islands (2014 Outstanding Business Award), among others.

We recently had a chance to ask Tony about his longtime support of HAC and our affordable housing efforts in the region. 

HAC: Why is HAC’s mission so important to you and Shepley Wood Products?

Tony Shepley: No community stays in balance without a healthy affordable housing supply. HAC has done a lot to help provide and push for housing for Cape Cod and the Islands.

HAC: What are some of the housing challenges you face as an employer on the Cape?

TS: Zoning changes and building code changes have driven the cost of housing up over the past 40 years, by limiting the supply of available land and by raising the cost of construction in our area. Employers can’t sit idly by and watch; we have to be involved.

HAC: How do you see HAC helping to address those challenges?

TS: HAC has worked on the development side by building new housing to add to the available supply, but also to drive awareness on the political front, as well as to educate the public and to stimulate affordable housing design.

HAC: Can you talk about the housing issues facing Cape Cod and why it’s necessary for organizations like HAC and companies like Shepley to work together to tackle those issues?

TS: I am surprised by the extent of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) thinking in many of our towns. Although our population on Cape Cod is not growing and has been slightly receding recently, some of our selectmen and town councilors are still convinced that we are in a runaway growth phase and they are scared of opening up a Pandora’s Box if they loosen their grip on housing.

We need to help them see that without affordable workforce housing our service industries suffer. Our teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police suffer, and we drive affordability out of reach. We have a lot of work ahead of us in de-polarizing our communities on the subject of a balanced approach to sensible housing. Healthy communities must stand for what they want, not just for what they don’t want.

WHY I GIVE

Over the years, Tony Shepley and his company, Shepley Wood Products, have generously given to HAC in support of its programs. That support has included sponsoring the agency’s Annual Dinner & Volunteer Recognition. Shepley Wood Products will do so once again in May.

This past fall, Shepley Wood Products also served as a sponsor of HAC’s Cape Housing Institute, a six-week workshop which provides municipal officials with the tools and resources to boost affordable housing in their communities. Last month, Shepley also sponsored our Cape Housing Advocacy Training, which teaches the general public how to speak up in support of more affordable housing in their towns.

“These programs help educate our town leaders and our fellow residents about the need for affordable housing and remove some of the stigma with which affordable and workforce housing gets tagged,” Tony said, explaining why Shepley has sponsored these two new HAC initiatives.

Become a Corporate Sponsor

 

Tags: Shepley Wood Products, Shepley, workforce housing, affordable housing, charitable giving, Housing Development, HAC donors, Tony Shepley, Donor Spotlight, corporate sponsorship, sponsors

HAC's New Board Chair Sets Sights on Cape Cod's Workforce Housing

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Sun, May 25, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

david augustinho headshot resized 600

Over the past 13 years David Augustinho has aimed to address the needs of the region’s private sector as the executive director of the Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board.

To ensure those needs are being met Augustinho realizes there must be adequate workforce housing to properly fill the seasonal and year-round jobs available on Cape Cod. “One of the issues we face with workforce development is worker housing,” he said. “It is an area, since I’ve been involved in workforce development, that I’ve been invested in and I think that we as a community need to address because there is somewhat of a mismatch between the cost of housing and the wages available in the region.”

Augustinho’s interest in this housing-related issue is what led him to the Housing Assistance Corporation’s (HAC) board of directors two years ago. At HAC’s Annual Meeting in April he took the leap from board member to chair of the executive committee, replacing Joan Bassett who has served in that capacity for the past three years.

In his new role, Augustinho said he wants to continue to place an emphasis on developing housing that meets the needs of Cape Cod’s labor force.

He also had high praise for the work HAC does with the homeless and hopes that efforts to address this segment of the Cape’s population remain a top priority. “I know a lot of homelessness is driven by substance and mental health issues,” he said. “Personally, I enjoy working on those issues. And as a society we’ve made decisions that have exacerbated the homelessness issue such as deinstitutionalizing the mental health population without really providing a range of services that meets the needs of those individuals.”

That is why, he said, HAC plays a vital role in the community, particularly to those who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness. “I think HAC provides hope,” he said.

Augustinho also was complimentary of HAC staff and their enthusiasm for tackling what are admittedly difficult issues. “You can really sense the positive energy throughout the organization,” he said. “Management and staff at Housing Assistance Corporation understand how important their work is and in my experience show an empathy for the clients they serve.”

He was eager to build upon the strong foundation the board has laid in the past three years under Joan Bassett’s chairmanship.

Bassett has a long history with HAC, having been a client and then an employee before becoming a board member in 2002. She will remain on the board as its clerk.

Prior to his current role with the Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board, Augustinho served as the business retention specialist for the Fall River Office of Economic Development. He has also worked as the director of operations for the Bristol County Convention & Visitors Bureau and spent nine years as the staff director for former State Representative Joan M. Menard.

Tags: housing, HAC, Housing on Cape Cod, David Augustinho, workforce housing