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Habitat for Humanity Unveils New Solar Powered Affordable Homes

Sarah Tan

Habitat for Humanity unveiled its newest affordable housing community in Brewster that is also environmentally friendly. The six homes off of Tubman Road are all equipped with solar panels which power the homes, making them nearly net zero, meaning they make as much energy as they use.

Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito visited the homes on Thursday and said they addressed both a need for affordable housing, and a need to use alternate sources of energy. 

"We are at a deficit here at this Commonwealth, and if we're going to continue to perform at a high level, we need to create more housing," Polito said. "Now on top of that, you're adding clean energy to the mix, which is incredibly powerful on a lot of levels." 

She added that the solar panels could save the residents around $1600 a year in energy bills. 

New resident Julie Davis said that in the house she and her family have been renting, their electrical bills recently doubled because they were switched to an electric heater, and so she's excited to see how solar panels can help. 

"We’re so excited because our bills where we’re renting now, our bills had doubled, so now that we get this opportunity with solar and the green energy, we’re so excited because it’s going to help us overall, our bills are going to be cut down so we’re really excited about that," she said.

The new six homes are one of over a hundred solar-paneled affordable homes that Habitat has built on the Cape since 2009, though the recent crop are the most energy-efficient, with one of them being entirely net-zero. They have plans to build more solar-powered affordable housing communities in the coming years, including proposed developments in Marstons Mills, Dennis, and Falmouth. Applicants must meet income requirements, and also be willing to put in a certain number of construction hours towards building the home.