Housing authority expansion in Provincetown inches slowly ahead
PROVINCETOWN — The plan to add low-income housing units to the Provincetown Housing Authority complex at 44 Harry Kemp Way has entered a new phase. At the last meeting of the Community Housing Council local leaders looked at possible designs for the enlarged complex. Housing specialist Michelle Jarusiewicz cautioned, however, that even under the best of circumstances it will take three to five years or even longer for the doors to open for new occupants.
Jarusiewicz, Kristin Hatch, the PHA representative on the CHC, and architect Paul Kelly of the Provincetown 365 housing workgroup were among those at the July meeting. Kelly had offered to look at the site and help jump-start the process of coming up with ideas for the expansion.
Jarusiewicz said she was impressed by Kelly’s use of the multi-unit property at 83 Shank Painter Road as a model for the new project on Harry Kemp Way. “It looks like a great option to consider,” she said.
Hatch said the potential number of new units at 44 Harry Kemp Way was significant. “Since the waiting list is years long, hopefully new PHA units will free up other units in town,” she said.
What is now energizing the PHA is the recent sale of town-owned property at 951R Commercial Street. Hatch said the property was given to the PHA by the town after being surrendered for tax title.
“This gives the [PHA] seed money for the expansion,” said Hatch. “Everything about it was challenging and costly.” Now the PHA can use the proceeds of the sale to expand its housing stock in a cost-effective way, she said. “The team effort it takes to get something like this done is what I love about this community. In the three years it took to get the property sold, so many people were involved in getting it done.”
She credited the PHA board and Executive Director Patrick Manning, Bob O’Malley from Beachfront Realty, attorney Robin Reed, the selectmen, the Community Development Department, the Zoning Committee, and the Planning Board for making the sale a reality.
“This was a big volunteer effort,” said Hatch. “There’s more work to be done for sure. It is a big step for the PHA to have sold 951R after 10 years, and to have its own starter money to be used on expansion. We hope it is just the momentum that we need to add more year-round units to town.”