Proper housing opportunities for our working-class residents need to be addressed in a serious and effective manner. Over 40% of Cape houses are owned by non-residents which they use as Summer homes. Many are rented to tourists. At the same time, it is getting more and more difficult for hard-working Cape Codders to find a residence they can afford. This is in no small part due to the inflated costs created by second-home non-resident owners.
We need to find creative, practical, and efficient policies to solve this problem. We need to work together across town-lines and with our local delegations. We must repeal a 1994 decision to ban rent controlled zoning. We must look at rolling back some historic preservation rules to inspire socially-responsible construction. We must stabilize the market for our residents.
But we have to go further and push harder.
A majority of our wealthiest homeowners are not full-time or even part-time residents. Their houses sit vacant most of the year while the need for year-round housing continues to grow. The single most powerful legislation we can pass to help is implementation of an added-tax to non-resident second-home owners. This small tax bump will provide a revenue stream which will be reinvested into housing priorities for our year-round working residents. After all, there is no reason non-residents with properties on the Cape shouldn’t be active contributors to the betterment of our communities.
Anyone can live here part-time but everyone should participate full-time.