Category Archives: Affordable Housing

Veterans Home Sign Unveiling

Below are photos from today’s sign unveiling for the Dennis Veterans Home. Thank you to all who have helped on this project. We still have much to accomplish before we can start construction. An immediate need is silt fencing and hay bales to mark the limits of work  We also have a few trees to remove once the limit of work is protected.

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The ‘Golden Girls’ made shared housing look easy

First, we have to make their living arrangements legal as four unrelated individuals cannot share a house under current zoning. But, we are working on that. See here.

Source: The ‘Golden Girls’ made shared housing look easy

Open Space Plan Discussion

Monday, May 21st as part of its regular meeting, the Planning Board will begin discussing the Dennis Open Space Plan Update. The primary focus of this first session will be the public survey. The survey can be found here:

SURVEY

We will also discuss the balance between competing town needs  as found in these documents:

2016 Draft Open Space and Recreation Plan

2017 Housing Production Plan

Town of Dennis Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan 2016 Draft

 

Most Massachusetts families’ household income is below average. Yes, we did the math – The Boston Globe

A rather telling explanation as to why we need to address affordable workforce housing. Add to the mix the outside force of the second home market on Cape Cod, and you come to understand why or young workforce is fleeing the region.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/05/03/most-massachusetts-families-household-income-below-average-yes-check-math/WrzXLUoHg9i5mmUfmK0p6I/story.html

Collaborative Work and Living Space – A Thought

Okay, let’s float these as trial balloons.

First, in the Dennis Port Village Center, General Commercial II, and West Dennis Village Center I am thinking we might want to add the following as an Allowed Use:

Collaborative Workspace – shared space for those looking to lease a work area and have access to a shared pool of amenities, like conference rooms, office supplies, and internet and tech connections. Facilities provide space for networking, events, working alone or with others, pop-up shops, and workshops. Collaborative Workspaces may include services such as retail sales, food services, facilities for professional office, light manufacturing, research and development, common storage, packing, and distribution. Such facilities encourage business collaboration and provide opportunities for product aggregation, information sharing, and partnering on events and market promotion.

The Economic Development Committee has been kicking this around some time as part of the Exit 9 Economic Center. Long before the television show Alex, Inc. came out an put these types of spaces into a more public view.

In the three areas discussed above, we have vacant commercial floor space that might be attractive for reuse in this fashion. Imagine, start-up space for quilters (happening int he Holyoke Innovation Center), 3-D printing services, podcasts (yes that is part of Alex, Inc. but also part of the Holyoke Innovation Center long before the television show). Videographers, computer specialists, marketing start-ups all under one roof. This might be just what we need to put into the long-vacant space in Dennis Port Plaza.

Second, to solve some of our housing needs, and attract young people to town who might be able to take advantage of the Collaborative Workspace, I want to float the same idea to create new living arrangements that could supplant the “lodging house” concept for some group living accommodations. So, here are my thoughts, borrowing from the above and verbiage used elsewhere in the country:

Collaborative Living Space  – Residential dwelling for those looking to share accommodations for economic or lifestyle reasons. and have access to a shared pool of amenities, like wi-fi, cable television, internet and tech connections, housekeeping service, trash removal, etc. Collaborative Living Space shall not be subject to the limitations found in the definition of Lodging House.

For a while I have been wrestling with a number of issues that this could resolve. One is finding a residential adaptive reuse for some of our larger antique homes scattered around town. This could allow a shared living entity, such as WeLive or Common, to acquire a house, restore it, and have it lived in by younger residents. The second is simply finding easily attainable, entry-level housing for our high-school and college graduates to be able to remain on, or return to, Cape Cod.

The need for this as part of the housing solution can be found in today’s Cape Cod Times (Youth outreach expanded in annual Cape homeless count) “Finding affordable housing on the Cape can pose a particular challenge to young people just starting out in entry-level jobs….”

Posted to both the Dennis Economic Development Blog and the Planning Department Blog for maximum exposure. Sorry if you get two notices about this.