What do these situations have in common?
“Mark Fletcher has a chance encounter with his high school crush Katie Bowman, and he ends up moving in with her into her four bedroom apartment alongside her other roommates Hope and James.”
“the suddenly risen film star Vince Chase, a ‘jeune premier’ of humble origins, learns the ropes of the business and the high-profile world of the wealthy happy few in and around Hollywood, but not alone: he brings from his native New York his atypical ‘entourage (hence the title), not glitterati or professionals but a close circle of friends since childhood”
“Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times.”
The answer, under Dennis Zoning their living arrangements would be illegal. Currently, when 4 or more unrelated individuals live together, they are defined as a commercial use of the property.
Quite simply, the living arrangements found in the old television series “The Golden Girls”, or more recently in “Roommates” and “Entourage” is not legal in Dennis. Zoning declares that “four or more individuals not related within the second degree of kinship” can only live together in a commercial lodging house. The first degree of kinship is one’s parents or children. The second degree of kinship is one’s siblings. The Golden Girls, as four widowed women living under one roof, would not meet that test in Dennis.
The Collaborative Living Space proposal will allow the opportunity for unrelated individuals to live together for familial purposes (two unmarried individuals with unadopted foster children), camaraderie, and financial purposes.
The proposal seeks to:
- Find a way to create easily attainable, entry-level housing for our high-school and college graduates to be able to remain on, or return to, Cape Cod;
- Find ways to allow our seniors (Golden Girls or Golden Guys) to live semi-independently in the community in a supportive environment;
- Allow for adaptive reuse and reinvestment in some of our larger antique homes scattered around town.
On a national level, collaborative living arrangements are being managed by entities such as “WeLive” or “Common.”
The need for this as part of the housing solution can be found in the May 7th Cape Cod Times article; Youth outreach expanded in annual Cape homeless count, where it noted: “Finding affordable housing on the Cape can pose a particular challenge to young people just starting out in entry-level jobs….”
The target for Collaborative living is the 2,614 single person households (37.7% of all households in Dennis); the 1,491 single person households age 65 and over, perfectly fitting the “Golden Girls” or “Golden Guys” scenario; and the 90 single people are aged 15 to 34 living alone.
The Brookings Institute reports that the 25 to 34 year old portion of this demographic earn an average of $37,974 which means they can only afford to pay $950 per month for rent and utilities. If Collaborative Living were and option, four people in this group could generate as much as $3,800 in monthly living costs and would create a household with nearly $152,000 in local spending power.