Upcoming Events

Session 6: Crossing the Finish Line



Dates & time: Wednesdays, October 2nd - November 6th, , 6pm - 8:30pm

Location: all sessions take place at the Eastham Public Library, 190 Samoset Rd, Eastham, MA 02642

The Lower Cape Housing Institute is a 6-part series of workshop that equip municipal officials and town staff with the knowledge and skills needed to address the housing crisis in their town. After the Lower Cape Housing Institute, we will hold our fall Lower & Outer Cape Peer Group Meetings and Lower Cape Post-Institute Town Wrap-Ups (8 towns = 8 wrap-ups).

Session 1: The Lower Cape Housing Landscape (October 2, 2019)

Addressing the housing crisis is one of the most important actions we can take the preserve the health of our communities. Despite the complexity of the challenge, the solutions are well known and understood. This session will lay the foundation for understanding how you can use your power and position to move the needle on housing in a significant way. First, you’ll arm yourself with the data trends that describe the housing crisis. Then we’ll develop a shared language to help us talk about housing to the public. You’ll learn about what Lower Cape towns are doing to meet their housing needs and how it compares to where we need to be. A state policy & legislative update will tell us which tools and resources are in the pipeline to support you. Finally, we’ll talk about the secret ingredient in catalyzing change and what you can do right now to transform your community’s housing options.

Session 2: Municipal Planning for a Shared Community Vision (October 9, 2019)

The 2019 Lower Cape Housing Institute is designed to follow housing productions steps from visioning to building. Session two moves us from understanding the problem to planning for the future. We’ll review which plans will identify and shape your community’s priorities. In order to implement any plan at the town level, you need the support of voters. Learn why community engagement is a critical component of any planning process and how to implement a participatory process.

Session 3: Setting Your Town Up for Success (October 16, 2019)

Housing development is expensive whether it is affordable or not. It becomes much more expensive when towns are focused on appropriate design and when the municipal climate is unpredictable for developers. Using local dollars is the best way to retain local control so that you can ensure that you are meeting your town’s housing needs while respecting concerns about scale and design. Before you jump into housing development, there are many ways that you can prime your town for the best quality project (think infrastructure, incentives, etc.). We’ll discuss new and innovative revenue streams that will allow for more flexibility in meeting the housing needs of residents at all income levels. We’ll also discuss the range of tools and strategies that towns can use to support their year-round community and encourage high quality housing production.

Session 4: Zoning for Housing to Protect Open Space (October 23, 2019)

Historically, there has been tension between housing and open space, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, smart & intentional zoning should support, rather than conflict with, our region’s ability to preserve and protect this beautiful place that we call home. We’ll focus on successful examples of Open Space Residential Development (OSRD) for multi-family. We’ll also discuss zoning options that allow for compact housing and inclusive neighborhoods (including a brief overview of Chapter 40B).

Session 5: Analyzing Optimal Locations for Development (October 30, 2019)

So, you think you have a site? That’s great! Do you know what can actually be built on the site? Are you hoping you’ll have shovels in the ground within a year? How does that site fit within your broader strategy? How much money will you need to invest into the site and what will your return be on that investment? Will you get enough units to make a dent in your affordable housing stock? And if not, will you have any money left in your Housing Trust to start another project soon? These are all questions that towns need answered before they start seeking developers. There is a way to maximize and manage resources to meet specific goals. You’ll learn how to be strategic in your approach to housing development and select sites with a higher likelihood of success.

Session 6: Crossing the Finish Line (November 6, 2019)

Once you’ve selected the right site, much needs to happen before a shovel hits the ground. The more information that a town can gather about a site, the better a developer can respond to the town’s needs and desires. We’ll discuss the range of pre-development activities that a town can engage in and what a town can expect to spend before it seeks a developer. You’ll learn important tips for writing a Request For Proposals (RFP) that attracts high quality developers (hint: don’t write it by yourself!) Since selecting a developer is one of the most important decisions that a town will make, we’ll walk you through how to make the best choice. After that, the town doesn’t have much involvement except to ensure that those hard-earned affordable units stay affordable; we’ll talk about that too.

Fall Peer Group Meetings: click here to register

After the Lower Cape Housing Institute, we will hold our fall quarterly sub-regional Peer Group Meetings to continue to facilitate sub-regional communication and support municipal officials. Additionally, we continue to work with Mass Housing Partnership to offer Advanced Trainings on the Cape covering topics relevant to Cape Housing Institute and Peer Group participants.

  • Lower Cape Peer Group Meeting: Tuesday, November 12th, 3pm - 5pm, Harwich Community Center
  • Outer Cape Peer Group Meeting: Thursday, November 14th, 3pm - 5pm, Wellfleet Preservation Hall

Post-Institute Town Wrap-Ups: click here to register

Back by popular demand, we will once again convene small group meetings on a town-by-town basis. These wrap-ups are an informal space for municipal officials and staff to debrief about how to translate learnings into specific actions. Participants will leave feeling energized and with clarity about how they can best contribute toward a common goal. These wrap-ups are professionally facilitated to ensure that they are as useful as possible for the group. We will provide a flexible agenda with enough structure to be efficient without being prescriptive.

  • Chatham: Monday, December 9, 2019, 10am - 12:30pm, Chatham Community Center
  • Eastham: Monday, December 9, 2019, 5:30pm - 8pm, Eastham Public Library
  • Orleans: Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 5:30pm - 8pm, Snow Library
  • Harwich: Monday, December 16, 2019, 10am - 12:30pm, Harwich Cultural Center
  • Brewster: Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 5:30pm - 8pm, Brewster Ladies Library
  • Truro: Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 5:30pm - 8pm, Truro Community Center
  • Provincetown: Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 5:30pm - 8pm, Provincetown Commons
  • Wellfleet: Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 10am - 12:30pm, Wellfleet Preservation Hall

Questions? Contact Andrea Aldana, Director of Housing Advocacy, to be added to the notification list: by phone (508) 240-7873 x10 or by email andrea@capecdp.org.


FREE for municipal officials and town staff


Eastham Public Library, Eastham MA
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