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.
From the United States Census
Population Trends of the Town of Dennis 2000 – 2016 (US Census)
The following is some background information being shared with the Planning Board for the hearings on March 5th.
The Town adopted a plan to meet our affordable housing goals last year. The plan addresses meeting our affordable housing goals.
In addition, the Cape Cod Commission has prepared a report on the region’s shortfall in affordable housing. Dennis has a shortfall in affordable rental housing for the local work force.
Work force housing needs to be reemphasized over and over in the affordable housing discussion. The table above illustrates, in red, all the professions in Barnstable County that has an average pay scale that falls BELOW the $54,400 income level, the level for earning 80% of the county’s median income.
These two graphics show that, if you work on Cape Cod, you probably cannot afford to live here.
Another point, the three fields in yellow above, represent 60% of our labor force. Retail, accommodations and health care. Three areas critical to our tourist economy and our aging population, CANNOT afford to live on Cape Cod.
I will let these last few go with no comment.
The report notes that year over year, housing prices increased by 11% AND mortgage rates went up, pushing homes further out of reach for those in need of affordable housing. Complicating matters more, personal income over the same time period only grew by 0.4%.
Looking at another set of numbers, Consumer Prices increased about 2.4% year over year, with the cost of shelter increasing 3.5%. Clearly, exceeding the growth in personal income.
While this is promising information, it continues to illustrate a need for everyone to step up and do more. Couch surfing is a big, missing, portion of the equation. Without a count of these, we are not getting a complete count. We should also remember that “sheltered” homeless are, still, homeless. longer term living facilities continue to be needed, from group homes for those meeting the criteria for these facilities, single room occupancy efficiency units.
Dennis has stepped up to the plate, creating single room occupancy units with the conversions to year-round housing of the former Dennis West, Cape Haven and Plantation motels and two cottage communities on Route 28. We now have a similar conversion planned for the former Dennis Port Motel under review.
Of course, our big effort is the creation of the Home for Veterans on Route 134. We look forward to the day we can begin construction on this project.
Census figures show the Cape loses its 18 -45 population to other parts of the state and other states. Jobs and housing. It’s a vicious cycle that we all need to work to reverse.
Describes Cape Cod to a “T.” Replace the UK names with Cape Cod towns, and relocation to towns in Bristol or Middlesex Counties, and pounds with dollars and you describe our side of the “pond.”