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County Commissioners Take Action to Ensure Those Living on Cape Cod Have Access to Affordable Housing

 Updates on County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 

February 22, 2023 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – Today the Barnstable County Commissioners took action to ensure those living on Cape Cod have access to shelter and affordable housing by allocating $11.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds towards affordable housing programs, including workforce housing initiatives, and shelter and respite care for homeless individuals.  

With the unanimous passing of Ordinance 23-05, the County will address housing challenges in the region with the allocation of $11.4M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the housing sector. This move reinforces a commitment towards providing safe housing and aims to fund a sheltering and medical respite program for homeless individuals, gap funding for affordable housing projects, workforce housing supporting the seasonal workforce through innovative public/private partnerships, and accessory dwelling units. 

County Administrator Beth Albert provided an update on the status of the County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding process, highlighting the milestones achieved thus far; allocation of $10 million to towns, $12.8 million devoted to county projects to benefit the entire region of Cape Cod, and the commitment to housing with $11.4 million. She also recommended the final process for awarding $5 million dollars in small and medium sized grants before recommendations are made to the Commissioners in April 2023.  

Ms. Albert applauded the efforts of Cape Cod’s non-profits in her update to County Commissioners and said, “We strongly believe in the tremendous work that our non-profit organizations undertake.  The Administration and Board have been vocal about our commitment to build capacity and assist non-profits.  As a result, we will be offering technical assistance to applicants who may not make it through the ARPA grant process.” 

In addition to the $11.4 million in ARPA appropriations for housing, the Commissioners authorized execution of the HOME Program American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) grant in the amount of $1,556,508 from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant will fund housing assistance and supportive services to assist vulnerable populations – such as individuals or households who are at risk of homelessness. The public is encouraged to review their draft HOME-ARP Allocation plan, as well as attend an upcoming public meeting, to be held virtually on February 27. Information is available at 

In other news, the County continues to support dredge work across the region, approving a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $650,000 for the current fiscal year to support dredging operations.  

Barnstable County Commissioners authorized agreements for dredge-related work with the towns of Chatham, Mashpee and Harwich. The projects involve 25,000 cubic yards in Stage Harbor Approach Channel at $18/cu yd; 5,000 cu yds in Popponesset Approach Channel costing $12/cu yard; as well as 7500 high-volume cu yards each from Allen Harbor’s Approach Channel ($12) and Saquatucket Harbor Entrance Channel (also at $12).  These projects will allow for safer navigation in all four channels. The dredging also helps to reduce environmental impacts from sedimentation buildup, which can damage aquatic life. 

The County Commissioners authorized the execution of an agreement to become a preferred vendor with the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) through a Master Service Agreement. This contract simplifies and accelerates grant contracts for up to 15 years, speeding things up during times such as a pandemic when emergency funds are needed quickly. It’s especially beneficial given increased laboratory services like water testing that make our county unique in the Commonwealth. 


Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Barnstable County Meeting Center at to access the Commissioners’ calendar, meeting agendas, information on how to participate, or links to the live-streamed meetings on YOUTUBE.  Barnstable County provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities upon request. Contact Justyna Marczak, Barnstable County ADA/Non-Discrimination Coordinator, or call 508-375-6646.  


On January 3, Commissioner Ronald Bergstrom was sworn in for his second term as Barnstable County Regional Commissioner. Commissioner Mark Forest was appointed Chair.  Barnstable County Commissioners serve four-year terms, which are staggered so that all three positions don’t come up for election at the same time.  Current Board Members: Mark Forest, Chair (Yarmouth) Term: 2021-2024; Ronald Bergstrom, Vice-Chair (Chatham) Term: 2023-2026; Sheila Lyons, Commissioner (Wellfleet) Term: 2021-2024. Learn more about the Board of Regional Commissioners HERE. 

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at