Like Ithaca, there is an affordable housing crisis on Cape Cod. Instead of students in Ithaca, the price of vacation homes drives the housing market beyond the reach of many who live and work year-round on the Cape.
Today I met with Andrea Aldana, Director of Housing Advocacy for the Community Development Partnership of the Lower cape.
People in Ithaca working on affordable housing solutions can learn something from what is happening here. In Ithaca, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Housing Tompkins are already providing many services of the Community Development Partnership such as rental housing, first time home buyer education and loans, housing rehabilitation and some community education for decision-makers about the affordable housing crisis. Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca have made a commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis.
What we lack is a unfied approach offered by the Cape Community Housing Partnership that includes advocacy training for those most affected by the problem. The voices of folks with low or moderate incomes are seldom heard when addressing housing issues in Ithaca. In addition to a six week Housing Institute for elected officials and a public ad campaign for affordable housing, Cape Cod Housing Partnersip offers advocacy training to provide low and moderate income folks tools they need to support affordable housing efforts in their communities. They encourage people to host house meetings in each town where people can get comfortable telling their own housing stories, build relationships and support each other. The goal is to have a group of people in each town mobolized to attend town hall meetings and vote for affordable housing initiatives.
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