Housing on MV
Martha’s Vineyard is currently experiencing a housing crisis. The vineyard struggles with providing affordable year-round housing for residents. Due to the heavy emphasis on tourism, year-round rentals are incredibly difficult to secure. Rental prices are exorbitantly high and usually available only for the summer months. Short-term rentals and investors have destabilized the housing market on the Vineyard. Long-time residents are being priced out of their homes and neighborhoods, with many being forced to move off the island. According to the MV Commission, only half of the homes on the island remain occupied all year.
The Island Housing Trust is a nonprofit organization that operates under the Community Land Trust Organization on Martha’s Vineyard. The goal of The Island Housing Trust is to create sustainable and permeant affordable housing on the island through lowering cost of ownership and providing affordable rental prices. The Island Housing trust buys and develops land, as well as builds new homes and rentals. The Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank is a fairly new organization and was recently approved in a majority vote by all six towns on the island. The Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank is modeled after the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, which is funded by a 2% fee on all real estate transactions. The 2% fee would be used to award funds to developers, non-profits, for-profit agencies, and entities that seek to develop and create affordable housing dwellings. The Housing Bank projects that $10-$12 million dollars a year is needed to act as a funding agency for affordable and sustainable housing on the island.
The focus of both of these organizations is to promote community stewardship of the land and to bridge the housing gap between wealthy vacationers and local residents.