Research Technician Struggled To Find Affordable Housing

Paloma Z. Lopez, 35, a research technician in Woods Hole, moved 12 times this summer.

Thirty-five-year-old Paloma Z. Lopez and her partner have worked as skilled research technicians at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for the last 10 months. They have an 8-year-old daughter who attends Mullen-Hall Elementary School. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Lopez sat at a picnic table outside the Falmouth Public Library and recounted how she struggled to keep a roof over her head this summer.

When Ms. Lopez and her family arrived in Falmouth last November they were allowed to stay in WHOI student housing for one month but, as staff, they couldn’t stay there permanently. The family soon found a reasonably priced seasonal rental in Falmouth Heights.

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(2) comments


Low income workers being priced out of the summer season rental market is a highly localized issue. And one that is not going away. What WHOI should do is create suitable graduate and post doc housing - they seem to be able to buy up any available property in Woodshole for their resident grad assts. In the interim, working with local residents to build a summer housing base - and boosting their grad/post doc subsidies (who work for WHOI at well below commercial scale wage rate. to gain needed experience). Note these are not dorms or a bunch of loud partying "college students": most of these grad students are in late 20's/early thirties, with families - and are a precious resource we need to nurture - not ask to live in tents!


Not an experienced camper, apparently, otherwise, there would have been a tarp (cheap at Job Lot) rigged over the tent. But overall, it highlights the housing problem we have. MBL took steps to solve it years ago when they built Devil's Lane for their summer researchers. WHOI should use their muscle and do something similar.

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