Cape Cod is renowned for its beautiful shores, deep blue waters, and picturesque homes. However, few realize that in this vacationer’s paradise, there is a housing crisis amongst the locals who live year-round on the Cape.
In this post, we look at how Habitat for Humanity is combating the Cape Cod housing shortage and what you can do to help contribute.
What is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that works with individuals, groups, schools, and businesses to build houses with families in need of an affordable home.
The Cape Cod affiliate of Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1988 and has built over 180 affordable homes on Cape Cod since then. These homes are sold at low cost to families in need.
A three-bedroom home built by Habitat of Cape Cod costs the new homeowner approximately $168,000, with the monthly payment for the home averaging $800. For comparison, the median sale price of a home on Cape Cod is $625,000.
Housing Crisis on Cape Cod
When most people think of Cape Cod, they think of lavish oceanfront homes. So why, then, would Cape Cod need Habitat for Humanity?
Unfortunately, there is a major housing crisis on Cape Cod right now. There is an extreme shortage of homes, leaving locals with nowhere affordable to live. The housing crisis was caused by:
- During the pandemic – owners who would rent out their Cape Cod properties began to occupy them as a result of being able to work remotely.
- Vacation destination – People who purchase vacation homes on Cape Cod only visit there infrequently, holding valuable property with little impact on the local economy.
- Vacation rentals – many rental owners realized that it was much more lucrative to rent to vacationers than lease out a location long term.
The result of the housing shortage is a massive increase in the cost of buying a home on Cape Cod. Over the past year alone, the average value of a home in Barnstable County increased 15.2%. For reference, the average annual increase of a home’s value since 1991 is only 4.3%.
How Can I Help?
Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod has done the legwork to make a big difference on the Cape by building affordable homes with local residents. One of the best ways to help is by volunteering, donating, or attending a fundraiser.
Ride for Homes
Every year, Habitat Cape Cod hosts a bike event to raise money for the construction of homes. This year, the event will take place in Bourne on Saturday September 17th. Riders can choose either a 12, 20, or 40-mile route and then enjoy a BBQ lunch afterward.
Registration is just $25, but there is a minimum fundraising amount of $300. Those who hit the $1,000 fundraising mark will even get a VIP cycling jersey.
Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod
Another great way to contribute is by volunteering to help build homes. No prior experience is necessary as on-site training is available. It’s a great way to learn or hone a new skill while making a difference.
If you don’t have the time to volunteer, then you can always donate to Habitat for Humanity. You can sponsor a house, donate monthly, or even donate your solar credits!
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
If you can’t donate, participate in a fundraiser or volunteer, you can also help Habitat for Humanity by visiting one of their ReStores. The ReStore locations in Yarmouth and Falmouth sell new and gently used furniture, kitchen cabinets, building materials, and appliances at a fraction of what they cost at retail.
All of the proceeds from the ReStores go right back into building affordable homes for the Cape Cod Community. Additionally, if you’re looking to get rid of some gently used furniture or appliances, then you can donate it to ReStore; they offer free pick up.
Looking for More Ways to Help the Cape Cod Community?
There is no shortage of ways to help out on Cape Cod. You can support one of the many environmental organizations, animal shelters, local libraries, and museums. Check out our article on Volunteering on Cape Cod to find out more.