Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

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

Housing Assistance Joins Future Cape Cod Coalition

Posted by HAC Staff on Thu, Mar 07, 2019 @ 12:11 PM

Future Cape Cod (March 2019)

With Cape Cod towns set to receive an influx of revenue from the state's recent adoption of the short-term rental tax, Housing Assistance Corporation has joined together with three other organizations to ensure resources are allocated to fund the region's future infrastructure needs.  

Those organizations — Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors (CCIAOR) and Housing Assistance — have formed the Future Cape Cod Coalition. 

Together, they are asking each of the 15 towns on Cape Cod to direct at least 50% of the local option rooms excise tax to an Infrastructure and Community Investment Stabilization Fund. That fund would support housing, wastewater, broadband, transportation, and competitive marketing projects. 

The coalition has drafted a model bylaw for communities to adopt this spring. That bylaw would create a town-managed fund which will will be controlled exclusively by each town for projects it chooses at its own discretion. 

"Because of the efforts of the Cape Cod delegation, Cape Cod towns are posed to receive a once-in-a-generation revenue infusion thanks to the inclusion of short-term rentals in the new occupancy tax law," said Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi. "We have one opportunity to ensure new revenue is used for long-agreed-upon, yet chronically underfunded infrastructure and community investment that Cape Codders need to thrive, now and into the future." 

Andrew Gottlieb, executive director of APCC, said "setting aside the new revenue before it gets absorbed into general operating budgets and before the ability to invest strategically in long-term municipal needs is lost, is critical." 

On the heels of Housing Assistance's new report, "Housing on Cape Cod: The High Cost of Doing Nothing", the Coalition pointed out the urgency that both residents and employers are facing with the housing crisis. "Businesses face a double-hit," said Cape Cod Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross. "Increasingly steeper housing costs are causing employers to pay more, passing that cost onto consumers; and year-round customers to have less disposable income to spend in the local economy.' 

"The market has not produced the type of housing our workforce needs, and we must invest in housing planning, re-zoning, and production to make that correction," Galazzi added. "Safe, attainable housing for all income levels and lifestyles is the key to our sustainability and could be the number one improvement to the health of our economy as a whole."  

SIGN THE OPEN LETTER TO LOCAL OFFICIALS

As a Cape Cod resident, you have the power to ensure your community invests in its long-term future. All you have to do is click this link, and sign the open letter asking that your local officials spend short-term rental money on long-term investments in your town. 

Visit www.FutureCapeCod.com and follow Future Cape Cod on Facebook (click here) for more info and to stay updated on our progress. 

 

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Housing on Cape Cod, CCIAOR, Alisa Galazzi, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, year-round housing, Future Cape Cod, occupancy tax law, short term rental tax, infrastructure, local option rooms excise tax

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.  

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

Affordable Condo Available in Orleans

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 @ 12:31 PM

18 West Road Orleans (February 2019)

A 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom first-floor condo is available at Wise Living, a senior living facility in Orleans.

Located at 18 West Road, the affordable unit is being offered for $147,000 and includes a monthly condo fee of $717 which covers utilities, central air, covered parking, and 24-hour security. The facility has a number of guest amenities including a dining area, library, solarium, kitchen, activity area, and exercise room. Dining options are available for an additional fee.

The property must serve as the homeowner’s primary residence.

Eligible applicants must be 62 or older with a household income of 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) which is equivalent to $48,300 for an individual and $55,200 for a couple. Applicants must also have no more than $275,000 in household assets.

The unit comes with an affordable deed restriction.

Those interested in learning more about the property should contact Housing Assistance Corporation’s Director of Cape Community Real Estate at 508-771-5400, ext. 284 or gkelleher@haconcapecod.org, or visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org for an application.

Tags: Senior Housing, Gael Kelleher, Cape Community Real Estate, Nonprofit Real Estate, real estate listings, seniors, Orleans

Donor Spotlight: Michael and Area Princi

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 25, 2019 @ 05:09 PM

Michael and Area Princi-1

Michael and Area Princi at HAC's Annual Meeting in 2017. The pair have been longtime supporters of our work, organizing a Gift Basket Party for clients in shelter during the holiday season. 

This year, HAC is celebrating its 45th anniversary and for 41 of those years, Michael Princi of Marstons Mills has supported the agency in its work to ensure all on Cape Cod and the Islands have access to safe, secure housing. 

An attorney and senior partner in the law firm of Wynn & Wynn in Hyannis, Princi’s initial involvement with HAC was focused on his profession. “I started to do some legal work, most of it on a pro bono basis,” he said.

Princi assisted HAC in large ways by helping move housing development projects forward through the legal process and in smaller, day-to-day matters, including internal, regulatory, landlord-tenant, and lease issues.

For Michael and his wife Area, giving back to HAC is rooted in their identity and has extended to serving meals to the homeless and collecting gifts for homeless families during the holidays.

Their efforts are tied to the belief that everyone deserves a home. “In order for people to move forward in their lives, the most important thing we can give them is a roof over their head,” Michael said. “Many people on the Cape did not have that available to them before Housing Assistance came along.”

That basic concept, he said, was something that “I identified with, in terms of wanting to give my time and efforts to.”

While housing is HAC’s primary goal, Michael noted that over the years its work has expanded to empowering families and individuals through such programs as its financial literacy classes which help clients maintain their housing through budgeting and improving their credit.

As HAC’s services have grown in size and scope, Michael is proud to have been affiliated with an agency that has helped so many over the years. “I feel like I’ve been part of the fabric, I’ve been with HAC so long,” he said. “A number of people and companies have been so supportive of HAC because they genuinely feel what Housing Assistance Corporation does is of tremendous importance to our community.”

Why We Give: Michael and Area Princi

At the beginning of last month, Michael and Area Princi organized their 28th Annual Holiday Gift Basket Drive, collecting presents that went to 50 families in HAC’s four family shelters – Angel House in Hyannis; Carriage House in Falmouth; Scattered Sites in Hyannis; and the Village at Cataumet in Bourne.

It’s a tradition that began with Michael and his first wife who passed away shortly after establishing the event. “The boys and I wanted to continue that tradition very much in memory of her,” said Michael. “When I remarried two years later, Area and her family blended into mine and we’ve expanded on it and continued it together for the past 26 years.”

With their children, Patrick, Peter, and Brendan, the Princis have been able to build a holiday drive that went beyond the confines of their home and now extends to their family, friends, and colleagues. “At the highest point, we did about 70 families and a number of homeless individuals,” Michael said.

While participation ebbs and flows, Michael said, “every year we manage to get 45 to 50 families allocated out so they all get Christmas baskets.”

Admittedly, it is a lot of work to organize the annual event, requiring the help of HAC staff as well as Michael’s legal assistant, Aimee Uhlman.

All of that effort is worth it for the Princis as they know those receiving gifts would have little to nothing to open on Christmas morning. “We play Santa for people who otherwise don’t have much or anything at all under their trees,” Michael said. “For many of the people who participate, the idea of anonymous giving is important to them… They are doing it truly out of the kindness of their hearts because they know there is a need and they are fulfilling that need.”

Donate Today

 

Tags: Family Shelter, Michael Princi, Holiday Drive, shelter, Area Princi, charitable giving, holiday giving

Enhanced Cape Housing Advocacy Training Set to Kick Off in February

Posted by Shawna Moos on Tue, Jan 15, 2019 @ 02:37 PM

Housing Advocacy3-7

Yarmouth Selectman Mark Forest talks about how residents can make a difference in their communities during last year's Cape Housing Advocacy Training in Hyannis. 

Next month, Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and Community Development Partnership (CDP) will launch the second iteration of the Cape Housing Advocacy Training, a collaborative effort between the two nonprofits to provide people throughout the region with the tools to support affordable housing in their communities. 

It is becoming increasingly well-known that there is shortage of 4,500 units of housing that is driving many working families and lower-income households, as well as the businesses and customers that rely on them, into crisis.

“More and more people on Cape Cod are understanding that to preserve our communities, we need to ensure that there is enough diverse types of housing to support our workforce, young professionals, and seniors who want to downsize. To meet this housing need, towns have to change their housing planning and policies. This workshop gives people the information and practice they need so that their message will be heard by decision makers in our region," Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Galazzi said.

Cape  Housing Advocacy-4

 

Stefanie Coxe talks to attendees at last year's Cape Housing Advocacy Training session in Falmouth. Stefanie is the principal of Nexus Werx LLC which provides Learn to Lobby trainings in Massachusetts. 

CDP and HAC will each host trainings in different areas of the Cape. The workshops are free and are geared toward anyone who wants to learn more about the housing crisis on Cape Cod and the Islands, and how they can make a difference.

Participants must pre-register and can do so by clicking this link

The workshop dates, times and locations are as follows:

  • Saturday, February 2, 9 am–2 pm, Wellfleet Preservation Hall at 335 Main Street, Wellfleet 
  • Saturday, February 23, 9 am–2 pm, Harwich Community Center at 100 Oak Street, Harwich
  • Snow Date for Lower and Outer Cape: Saturday, March 2, 9 am–2 pm, Harwich Community Center
  • Saturday, March 2, 1–4 pm, Yarmouth Council on Aging at 528 Forest Road, West Yarmouth
  • Monday, March 4, 5:30–8:30 pm, Mashpee Town Hall at 16 Great Neck Road, Mashpee
  • Thursday, March 14, 5:30–8:30 pm, Barnstable Town Hall at 367 Main Street, Hyannis
  • Snow Date for Upper and Mid-Cape on Saturday, March 23, 1-4 pm, Housing Assistance Corporation at 460 West Main Street, Hyannis

These workshops are designed to provide an overview of the housing crisis and how individual residents can make impact with an emphasis on practicing their advocacy skills with each other in a variety of simulated official and social settings. Attendees will learn:

  • Basics of the housing crisis
  • How public housing decisions are made
  • Opportunities to engage
  • Common arguments against housing (NIMBY: Not In My Backyard!)
  • Counter arguments to support housing (YIMBY: Yes in My Backyard!) 
  • Framing your message
  • Speaking with confidence

Participants on the Upper Cape and Mid-Cape are encouraged to register for the free trainings online at www.capehousinginstitute.org. Those on the Lower Cape and Outer Cape can do so by clicking this link

The Housing Advocacy workshops are generously supported by funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

Upper and Mid-Cape  Advocacy Training Register

Tags: Community Development Partnership, Cape Community Housing Partnership, Advocacy Training, Cape Housing Advocacy Training, housing crisis, housing advocacy, YIMBY, NIMBY

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

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

Get Trained to Advocate for Better Housing Solutions!

Posted by HAC Staff on Mon, Jan 07, 2019 @ 02:38 PM

 

Advocacy-5

As part of last year's Cape Housing Advocacy Training, State Senator Julian Cyr talked about the importance of getting involved in housing issues in your community. 

In February and March, Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and Community Development Partnership (CDP) will offer free Cape Housing Advocacy Training, an interactive workshop that will provide people throughout the region with the tools to support affordable housing in their communities.

Register Today

Recent studies have shown that there is shortage of 4,500 units of housing in our region that is driving many working families and lower-income households, as well as the businesses and customers that rely on them, into crisis. To meet this housing need, towns have to change their housing planning and policies. This workshop gives people the information and practice they need so that their message will be heard by decision makers in our region.

Advocacy-7

Christy Donovan provided last year's participants with tips on how to improve their public speaking when they want to speak up in favor of public housing initiatives in their town. 

HAC will be organizing free training sessions on the Upper Cape and Mid-Cape while CDP will be organizing sessions on the Lower Cape and Outer Cape. Participants must pre-register and can do so here

Tags: Community Development Partnership, Cape Community Housing Partnership, Cape Housing Advocacy Training, housing crisis, housing advocacy

Foreclosure Counseling Stabilizes Households on Cape Cod

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Jan 07, 2019 @ 11:11 AM

 

Heidi and Betsie Foreclosure (January 2019)

Among the services that HAC Housing Counselors Heidi Archibald (left) and Betsie Rumbaugh provide is foreclosure counseling to homeowners on Cape Cod and the Islands. 

Over the past 21 years, HAC has helped countless families and individuals stay in their homes through foreclosure counseling. HAC is the only agency certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to offer this service to residents on Cape Cod and the Islands.

“I think it helps stabilize families and keeps their kids in the same school district which provides regularity and stability for children,” said Cassi Danzl, HAC’s Director of Family and Individuals Services. “For older, elderly populations, it allows them to age in their homes where people are typically on a fixed income and can’t afford the rents here.”

HAC currently has two housing counselors – Heidi Archibald and Betsie Rumbaugh – who offer one-on-one counseling for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Cheryl Codair, HAC’s Director of Education and Engagement, provides group-based support through the agency’s financial literacy classes which include pre- and post-purchase workshops.

Since November 1, HAC has fielded 24 phone calls from homeowners seeking information about foreclosure counseling.

The process, Rumbaugh said, can be overwhelming. “I’ve had people walk in and they are very stressed and afraid about the future,” she said. “They are starting to become aware of the housing issue on Cape Cod and how difficult it is to find an alternative place to live if they lose their home.”

Counseling is aimed at building trust and providing solutions to addressing a household’s current financial situation. “We guide them to pick up the pieces so they can move forward,” Rumbaugh said.

Archibald said the sooner a homeowner can come to HAC, the better. HAC has several internal programs that can support clients, including offering one-time financial assistance to those who may have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to unforeseen circumstances such as loss of a job, illness, or divorce.

Despite the emotional nature related to foreclosures, both Archibald and Rumbaugh said they enjoyed being able to help clients stabilize their housing. “I love working with the community and contributing to helping people stay in their homes,” Rumbaugh said. “I think the fact that there is such a shortage of housing available on Cape Cod makes housing counseling very important to the community.”

HAC's Foreclosure Counseling 

Those in need of foreclosure counseling, should contact Betsie Rumbaugh at either brumbaugh@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 285.

Tags: HCEC, Foreclosure, housing consumer education, Cassi Danzl, Betsie Rumbaugh, foreclosure prevention, Cheryl Codair, Heidi Archibald, housing counselors