Most meetings are being held in person, but some are still remote or virtual. Go to the eastham-ma.gov and click on the meeting you are interested in to learn about meeting locations and any remote options that may be offered.
Thursday, Oct. 27
- Council on Aging Board, 9:30 a.m., Town Hall
- Cape Light Compact and Dept. of Utilities, 2 p.m., virtual
- Board of Health, 3 p.m., Town Hall
- Nauset Regional School Committee, 6 p.m., virtual
Tuesday, Nov. 1
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Wednesday, Nov. 2
- Open Space Committee, 2 p.m., Town Hall
- Community Preservation Act Committee, 5 p.m., Town Hall
- Human Services Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall
Thursday, Nov. 3
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 5 p.m., Town Hall
- Climate Action Committee, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall
Rethinking the Housing Buy Down Program
Among a plethora of new housing acquisitions and ideas, officials are rethinking the usefulness of a program that would grant up to $150,000 towards the purchase of a home that would be deed-restricted as affordable.
At the Oct. 24 select board meeting, Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said Alissa Magnotta, chief executive officer of the Housing Assistance Corporation, recommended that the town reconsider setting aside $150,000 annually for a housing buy down program.
Magnotta, whose nonprofit provides regional housing services, said it is “harder and harder” to find a family that will agree to the deed restriction. People who are ready to buy a home do not find the benefit of getting the extra $150,000 worth placing a deed restriction on the property, she said, according to Beebe.
Magnotta recommended that the $150,000 a year could be better spent, Beebe said.
“I do agree in the end $150,000 is not that much,” said select board Chair Jamie Demetri.
“What if we used the money to incentivize people to rent out their property year-round?” asked board member Art Autorino.
Short-term rentals can be more profitable than a year-round rental, but it is also stressful to manage the weekly turnaround of tenants, Demetri said.
The money the town has set aside for the buy down program could instead pay people during the summer months so that a landlord would earn something closer to what they earn by renting it out to weekly vacationers.
Beebe said she does not know of any similar program, so Eastham would have to create it “from scratch.”
But, Beebe added, it could work. It may be a real incentive for “almost retiree” second homeowners who could rent to a year-round tenant until the homeowners themselves retire to Eastham year-round.
The select board agreed to revisit the idea in a few months after staff works on the logistics. —K.C. Myers