Housing Strategy to address affordability, accessibility
Affordable and attainable housing for people with various income levels and needs is key to a vibrant and healthy region. Unfortunately, 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 Cape Cod Commission is working to develop a Regional Housing Strategy that aims to 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.
A robust stakeholder process will engage the public, municipal representatives, housing advocates, builders, employers, and others to define specific challenges, identify opportunities, and develop local and regional strategies that meet the needs of Cape Cod.
The best available data and information will inform the strategy. The Cape Cod Commission is working with the UMass Donahue Institute to update and expand upon the 2017 Regional Housing Market Analysis in a new Regional Housing Needs Assessment. The assessment will provide demographic, economic, and housing supply and demand projections through 2050 and capture additional detail about housing needs related to the region’s workforce, year-round residents, and rental market.
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic housing affordability and accessibility in the region was a challenge,” said Kristy Senatori, Cape Cod Commission Executive Director. “Today, housing is even further out of reach.”
Cape Cod Commission staff is currently collecting and developing baseline data and information to support the planning process, as well as collecting information on housing plans from other regions. Housing profiles and a housing typology for each town will serve as resources to help stakeholders better understand the current housing landscape.
The planning process will result in a strategy that includes actionable recommendations responsive to the needs and preferences of Cape Cod and tools and resources such as design guidelines and model bylaws that communities can immediately implement.