Located in the Planning Department, the Housing Office addresses community housing needs in Brewster.
Open Office Hours:
The Housing Coordinator holds open office hours on Thursdays from 10am - Noon for community members who have requests for assistance, questions, comments and ideas about affordable and community housing. The coordinator is also available by phone. Please email or call to set up an appointment.
Rental Assistance and Emergency Rental Assistance
The Brewster Housing Trust offers a Rental Assistance Program which includes an emergency COVID-19 component for residents. Applications are through Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC). Supported by Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding, ongoing rental assistance of up to $500/ month is available. Emergency COVID assistance, up to $6,000, is part of the Lower Cape designed Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Income limits and additional requirements. See Fact Sheet. Apply at: www.haconcapecod.org/programs/homeless-prevention.
Brewster COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Town is accepting applications for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund provides up to $1,000 for households impacted by a COVID related loss of income or increase of expenses. Income limits apply. See Fact Sheet for more information. Or find an application at: https://www.brewster-ma.gov/files/covidreliefapp.pdf.
Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program Ready Buyer List:
The Town of Brewster, through Community Preservation Funds, provides up to $30,000 of grant assistance for eligible buyers purchasing a home in Brewster. The program, contingent on existing funds, is available to households qualifying at 80% AMI (Area Median Income) who agree to place a permanent affordable housing deed restriction on the home. The grant assistance is provided as an interest free loan which is forgivable after 30 years. The Buy-down Ready Buyer List is now open. For eligibility requirements and further information, see the Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program Ready Buyer List Application
General Brewster Housing Information
Local Preference and Fair Housing Educational Forum:
This forum, sponsored by the Housing Partnership in April 2021, explains local preference and fair housing and further explores these concepts within the context of Brewster community housing. A full HD video of the forum is available at: http://video.brewster-ma.gov/CablecastPublicSite/show/5326?channel=1 The presentation slides are also available here.
Brewster Demographics and Housing History:
This short slide presentation prepared by Mass Housing Partnership’s Center for Housing Data visually depicts information on Brewster’s population and housing. See the presentation
Brewster Housing Production Plan:
This plan, approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in July 2017, describes demographics and housing needs in Brewster, as well as sets housing goals and implementation strategies for the Town. These goals and strategies guide the housing work focus in Brewster. See the Brewster Housing Production Plan
Brewster Community Housing Forum:
This session, held May 2019, provides an overview of Community Housing in Brewster including Brewster housing data, the Housing Production Plan, current strategies to address Brewster’s housing needs and local affordable housing options and the Brewster Affordable Home Buyers Buy-down Program. A full HD video is available at https://vimeo.com/339410155
Brewster Housing Initiatives
Habitat for Humanity Paul Hush Way:
Fourteen affordable homes comprise a newly built neighborhood on Paul Hush Way, off Tubman Road. CPA funding assisted in the purchase of the land in 2013 and in construction of the homes. Construction is expected to be complete and all homes occupied by the end of 2020.
Brewster Affordable Housing Trust:
The 2018 Special Town Meeting authorized the creation of the Brewster Affordable Housing Trust Fund, this is a Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The purpose of the Trust is to provide for the preservation and creation of affordable housing in the Town of Brewster for the benefit of low and moderate income households and for the funding of community housing. A Housing Trust increases local control in creating, preserving and supporting community housing. CPA grants to preserve Affordable Housing and support the Trust help to fund the Trust's important work. The Trust has its own webpage with additional information. Trust meetings are recorded and available on the Brewster Channel 18 website.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Bylaw:
At Brewster’s December 3, 2018 Town Meeting, residents voted to amend the ADU and ACDU Zoning Bylaws. Amending the bylaws was both a strategy listed in the Housing Plan and a step identified in the Vision Plan Housing Goal. The amended by-laws aim to allow greater opportunities for ADUs, including by right, and ACDUs thus providing more year round rental options and home ownership opportunities. Information regarding steps to create an ADU can be found in the Building Department.
Brewster Woods, which received a Comprehensive Permit from the Brewster ZBA in 2018, will house 30 one, two and three bedroom affordable apartments as well as a community room, laundry and management office. The rental apartments will be located off Brewster Road on 5.8 acres of Brewster Housing Authority owned property. To assist in funding the project, the Town has received a 1.68 million Massworks grant, with a local match from Brewster CPA funds, and the Barnstable HOME Consortium has pledged $250,000. The present construction schedule includes initial infrastructure work late 2020, building construction beginning Spring 2021, and a goal to open for residents in 2022.
On the Horizon
Expected New 55+ Brewster Housing Option
Elevation Financial received zoning approval for the redevelopment of the former Wingate skilled nursing and assisted living facility at 873 Harwich Road. After rehabilitation of the building, 134 apartments will be available for renters aged 55+. Housing options will include a mix of studio, one and two bedroom units. Elevation Financial will designate 20% of the units affordable.
Millstone Road Land Parcel
At the May 2018 Special Town Meeting, Brewster designated 16+ acres of town owned land for Community Housing purposes. The parcel is located on the west side of Millstone Road near Agassiz Street. The Town and Affordable Housing Trust have been exploring the property and potential community housing opportunities, this process includes a feasibility study, outreach, public sessions and surveys to gain community input. Information about the property, timeline, the development process, community engagement sessions and surveys can be found below.
Please see the links below for more information on this process.
Jill Scalise, Housing Coordinator
2198 Main St
Brewster, MA 02631
Phone: 508-896-3701, Ext. 1169