Affordable Housing Week of Action May 1 – 8
I posted earlier this week about people living more and more in shared housing arrangements due to the lack of affordable housing for younger residents. I have also spent much time touring the town and seeing more and more of our older homes slowly close up and age due to the empty nest issues facing aging communities. Maybe addressing one problem, lack of affordable housing options, can address the other.
For those who have spent more than a few minutes with me discussing affordable housing, you have heard me say we need an adaptive reuse strategy for some of our five and six thousand square foot older homes. You have heard me say that perhaps we have to find a way to attract investors to renovate the outside, and divvy up the inside into multi-family housing opportunities. Maybe, a different approach may be to reconsider the concept of a lodging house and carve out a niche for shared, communal living. Perhaps, with the right zoning in place, we could attract an affordable Cape Cod version of WeLive or Common.
“For many years, backyard cottages — also known as granny flats, mother-in-law suites or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — were treated as nuisance uses, outlawed in urban and suburban zoning codes around the country. But as affordable housing becomes ever more scarce, cities are beginning to look at liberalizing rules for building ADUs, as a way of adding cheaper, more diffuse housing supply in tight markets.”
The Dennis Municipal Affordable Housing Trust and Dennis Economic Development Committee are both exploring expanding allowances for accessory dwelling units in Dennis.
“In CCYP’s 2018 Community Survey, a total of 400 respondents identified what they need the most in order to successfully live and work on Cape Cod. The top five needs, in order of the percentage responding for each, were:
Dennis recognizes these are important to the region’s economic sustainability.