Cape Cod has a workforce housing crisis. More than a third (58,000) of the Cape’s housing units are seasonal - accounting for half of the second homes in Massachusetts, and home prices have more than doubled in the past decade – far outpacing wages in our service-focused economy. Also, the explosion of the short-term rental industry is shrinking the already small inventory of seasonal worker housing.
Housing on Cape Cod experienced significant changes in its composition and market demands over the last 10 years. A 2017 study analyzes these changes and helps plan for a resilient, healthy, and vibrant Cape Cod by understanding its housing status and forecasting market trends. Housing markets are dovetailed so tightly into the overall economy that it is debatable which one drives the other. Labor and wages dictate affordable housing prices, but wages are limited by what employers can afford. Since the mid-2000s the Cape’s housing markets have been impacted by large, uncontrollable macro-economic forces including: the rise of a strong Boston metropolitan economy; the housing market crash of 2009; the retiring baby-boomers being attracted to Cape Cod’s beauty; and the Cape’s seasonal economy serving long-standing, historic traditions as a vacation destination for generations. These macro-economic forces, combined with natural resource constraints and local government growth control policies, have resulted in low prevailing wages but high demand for seasonal, retirement, and income-producing properties, creating a highly constrained housing market for residents in the workforce.
We will continue to work with partners and develop new ideas that will support housing for various life-styles, life-stages and their associated incomes, so that middle-income families can thrive here, and also on housing solutions for seasonal workers to accommodate the peak season influx of staff.
Future Cape Cod Coalition
Cape Cod Regional Housing Market Analysis
Residential (Cluster) Development Model Bylaw+
Accessory Unit Model Bylaws info
Rent 365 - Housing Assistance Corporation
The Lofts at 57 - Housing Assistance Corporation
Sea Captains Row by CapeBuilt
Housing Assistance Corporation Video: Celebrating 45 Years of Housing Assistance on Cape Cod and the Islands