The National Low Income Housing Coalition published its annual “Out of Reach 2016” report on affordable rental housing.  According to 2016 local data, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment in Barnstable, Massachusetts is $1,457 per month. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $4,857 monthly or $58,280 annually.  Assuming a 40-hour work week 52 weeks a year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of

$28.02 per hour. 

In 2016, a Barnstable County minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $10.00. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 112 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.  Or, a household must include 2.8 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR “affordable”.  For more information, view Out of Reach 2016 Fact Sheet pdf icon.

image HAC help buttonLocally Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) educates, trains and counsels clients seeking help with housing. HAC provides weatherizing and energy rehabs, develops affordable housing, and has a full-service nonprofit real estate office.  HAC provides emergency shelter and homelessness prevention assistance for individuals and families; administration of the largest housing subsidy program in our region; and family self-sufficiency and employment services. HAC administers the Department of Human Services’ HOME Down Payment Closing Cost (DPCC) Program that assists low-income, first-time homeowners in purchasing a modest single family home in Barnstable County. For more information, view DPCC Eligibility Information. HAC also works with the Department of Human Services maintaining the Cape and Islands Continuum of Care Homeless Management Information System.


The HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) is a Federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. HOME funds a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income individuals and families. The Barnstable County HOME Consortium [BCHC] is comprised of 15 communities on Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth.  The BCHC was formed to be a Participating Jurisdiction to receive and disburse HOME funds. In 2015, Barnstable County designated the Department of Human Services to act as the program’s lead agent, responsible to HUD for all administrative functions related to the operation of the BCHC.  As established by County ordinance in 1992, the HOME Consortium Advisory Council consists of seventeen members: one representative from each town and two at-large members.