When people who have lived in the same community for five or seven generations can no longer live where they grew up; when school teachers, police officers, and librarians cannot afford to live in the communities they work in; when seniors who have paid off the homes they worked a lifetime to retire in are being taxed out of their homes; and when new families with children cannot afford to purchase a home, it is safe to say we are experiencing a housing crisis on Cape Ann which could have catastrophic consequences.
Already now we are witnessing beloved multi-generational local businesses that have helped build our communities and enriched our quality of life closing because their employees can no longer afford to live here. This crisis needs immediate solutions while simultaneously being environmentally and energy conscious. All four of our communities have grown thanks to thriving artist and fishing communities but now the very people and professions who made us who we are are being forced out and this is a loss for everyone.
Being sure there is housing for everyone is not only a matter of quality of life for our communities but a question of security for when the police can not afford to live here and actually be part of the communities they are less able to protect and tend to only enforce laws. Tax breaks for the elderly and a revolving fund to help artists, fishermen and teachers afford their first homes could go a long way to helping everyone in our communities.