From today’s Cape Cod Times. At present, Dennis has relaxed the rules in two zoning districts to promote multi-family housing and is working on a third. In addition, the Dennis Affordable Housing By-law, our own local 40B zoning, allows consideration of higher density housing through-out town with appropriate affordability set-asides,
Relax the rules, allow more housing
If you are trying to rent a year-round home on Cape Cod, you know the two biggest challenges – availability and price. Why the shortage?
More than a third of the Cape’s houses are seasonal homes, and many remain vacant for most of the year. Last year, the Cape Cod Commission reported that the region needed an additional 7,000 rental units to accommodate the area’s needs. But in the past six years there has been a net loss of 3,000 year-round housing units and a gain of 5,000 seasonal units.
That’s why we applaud a study underway in three Cape Cod towns that could lead to more housing outside traditional residential neighborhoods. Funded by a $100,000 grant from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the study is examining areas of Orleans, Eastham and Falmouth that are on the fringes of residential neighborhoods and represent typical Cape Cod development patterns. The study looks at how building denser housing could better “knit” disparate parts of communities together.
The study will dovetail nicely with efforts by the Housing Assistance Corp., which has launched an initiative to promote more housing. It hopes to inspire some of seasonal homeowners to consider transforming their houses into year-round rentals, with a $1,000 incentive, coupled with assistance in making the jump to becoming landlords.