There are many issues on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket that need addressing to further our mission to protect and advance the ability for the real estate industry to operate, a property owner’s ability to transfer property, and work to improve the communities we work in as a desirable and viable places to live and do business. One of the ways we address these issues as an organization is through advocacy.
CCIAOR has put together an agenda that will drive our decision-making and the initiatives we will undertake throughout the next year. We call it our ‘Forward-Looking Agenda’, adjusting it as needed to play defense on policy proposals that hamper our mission.
We have also laid out out our ‘Proactive Agenda’ in the hopes of positively affecting policy and decisions made in Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties for the betterment of our communities. This agenda supplements our more general policy positions found in our CCIAOR Public Policy Guide.
These policy priorities will be the cornerstone of our strategic plan’s ‘Grow Influence’ pillar. We will support this pillar by continuing to connect with and invest in in local organizations and initiatives that further our mission by positioning REALTORS® as integral to the community and to strategically engage and build relationships with local and regional decision makers, Cape Cod REALTORS® and the public in order to advance CCIAOR public policy efforts.
Our local CCIAOR Public Policy Initiatives are undertaken in addition to the state and national association’s priorities for REALTORS® on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill,respectively. These initiatives are meant to drive discussions held in town halls across Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. You can find those here:
Housing Affordability and Availability
With inventory of homes for sale continuing to dwindle in our market (especially in the key under $500,000 market), prices are rising without the requisite wage growth to balance out that increase. CCIAOR supports initiatives that will break the current housing cycle by building more units through land use, zoning, and regulatory changes outlined in CCIAOR’s Public Policy Guide. We are focusing our efforts on creating more opportunities for market rate ownership and rental opportunities to provide more choice in the housing market, and opposing efforts to tax a real estate transaction at a higher rate. This includes our main push, which is to streamline, unify, and expand the ability to do accessory dwelling units (ADU) in every town. You can find out more about our ADU initiative at BuildASmarterCape.com.
Cities and towns are increasingly proposing and enacting regulations to further restrict and regulate the vacation rental industry. CCIAOR believes that renting your property is by-right and will work to ensure that the ability for property owners to rent both short-term and long-term is protected.
For example, Mashpee is currently considering comprehensive rental regulations read about our efforts on these regulations here. We expect more towns to push for increasingly stringent rental regulations as political pressure mounts against second home owners and renters across the region.
CCIAOR will participate and be an active partner in coastal resiliency efforts to protect our region’s property owners, prepare the region for changing shorelines, and to continue to support the economic viability of properties located near the coast. This includes the primary objective of encouraging and supporting efforts of each town to enter into and increase their participation in FEMA’s Community Rating System program. This program will help communities undertake coastal resiliency initiatives and lower flood insurance premiums.
Just two weeks ago, we partnered with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and the Massachusetts Coastal Coalition to host a Post-Disaster Workshop for residents affected by this winter’s storms.
Replacement of Gas Pipeline
The replacement National Grid’s pipeline is of utmost importance to property owners on Cape Cod. It is important to complete the pipeline not only to ensure the safe delivery of natural gas, but also to increase the energy efficiency and effectiveness of homes and buildings on Cape Cod. CCIAOR will continue to work with National Grid to communicate the project’s progress to members and to provide advocacy support where needed to ensure the regulatory process does not impact completion timelines.
We keep our members updated on the progress of the pipeline here. We stay in regular contact with National Grid to provide them with support through the regulatory hurdles needed to ensure a safe, efficient, and timely replacement of their gas pipeline.
Economic Development and Job Creation
Jobs are a key driver of a sustainable, vibrant economy needed for a healthy real estate market. CCIAOR supports the streamlining of land use regulations to create more economic development opportunities and supports initiatives that are aimed at attracting and retaining both workers and companies to locate and live on Cape Cod year-round.
We are working with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce on a coalition to fix the bridges. You may have seen the iniital effort of this coalition – a petition to replace the bridges which you can sign at FixCapeCodBridges.com. We are working to help expand broadband across the region as well as our infrastructure is a key driver of economic development. If you have questions about our legislative priorities, you can review the government affairs page of our website.