Cape Cod Commission begins work on Regional Housing Strategy
Affordable and attainable housing for people with various income levels and needs is key to a vibrant and healthy region. Cape Cod is facing a significant challenge in providing affordable and attainable housing for current and future Cape Cod residents. Median sales prices for single-family homes on Cape Cod increased at nearly three times the rate of average weekly wages between 2019 and 2021, widening the gap between income and housing costs.
The region's draw as a seasonal and retirement destination, combined with regulatory and physical limitations, has resulted in a housing market that is unaffordable to many residents. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated an already challenging situation.
The 2018 Regional Policy Plan identifies housing as a key challenge for the region. The Commission has begun work on a Regional Housing Strategy that will address housing supply, affordability, and availability issues by identifying appropriate areas for housing development and creating policies and strategies to further the plan's goals.
Successful implementation of the Regional Housing Strategy will provide residents with safe and attainable housing and a more reliable workforce and customer base for local businesses.
Commission staff is currently collecting and analyzing relevant data to articulate the region's needs and lay the groundwork for the plan's goals, actions, and strategies. The data analysis will include demographics and housing stock characteristics, including developing a regional housing typology. This analysis will also look at other barriers to affordable and attainable housing for Cape Cod's residents, such as development or regulatory constraints.
The Commission will undertake visioning and goal setting with a detailed picture of the region's current housing conditions and opportunities. Initial visioning for the Regional Housing Strategy will focus on understanding the types of housing stakeholders want and need. The Commission will further engage stakeholders to understand visual preferences. A robust community engagement process that includes workshops and surveys will provide the input for the visioning.
The final element of the Regional Housing Strategy will be developing actions to address the challenges and fulfill the vision and goals identified through the earlier steps in the planning process.