YOUR ISLAND, YOUR VOICE, Your vote!
West Tisbury special town meeting | West Tisbury School
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7pm
Chilmark | Chilmark Community Center
Monday, April 22, 2019 7:30pm
Aquinnah | aquinnah town hall
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 7pm
Let’s send the message to our representative that the Vineyard wants to earmark SOME of the expanded Rooms Tax for year-round housing. Voting YES is only the first step in a long process: Island residents will have to vote again in 1-2 years. In the meantime, towns can assess actual revenue and start planning the Housing Bank’s governance and regulations. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to preserve our community.
Click here to learn more about the legislative process of the proposed housing bank warrant articles.
THE CRISIS IS NOW
Year-round housing shortages and unaffordability is not a crisis of the future. Twelve month leases and homes under $600,000 are practically unheard of today. Hundreds of people who make our Island life possible — teachers, police officers, tradespeople, restaurant workers, office workers, senior volunteers — are without stable housing and it's only getting worse. These warrant articles comprehensively address an urgent problem that we as an Island have not been able to solve. Our community cannot keep relying on limited town-by-town State Community Preservation Act Funds, they are simply not enough.
A SOLUTION IS HERE
yOUR ISLAND LIFE - AND yOUR ISLAND’S LIFE - DEPEND ON IT!
A community’s health and prosperity needs stable housing. With your vote at Annual Town Meeting, a funded Housing Bank will help create and preserve year-round housing throughout Martha’s Vineyard. This is only the beginning – it will take time for the Housing Bank to become law. Once it passes on Town floor, the legislature still must enact it, which can take 12 to 24 months, at which point Island residents must vote again. In the meantime, Towns will have a chance to assess and collect the revenue and familiarize themselves with the accompanying processes. If we do not set aside and earmark this funding now, it will get absorbed into the Towns’ budgets.
In 2017, Island voters overwhelmingly supported the idea of creating an Island-wide housing bank. These warrant articles do just that, and fund the Housing Bank with revenue not paid by Vineyard residents. The Massachusetts legislature has given us a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and we must act now. Rather than coming out of Islanders’ pockets, the revenue comes directly from a natural source: we all know that short-term rentals greatly contribute to the Island’s housing shortages and unaffordability.
In response to Martha’s Vineyard’s critical housing needs, each town’s Housing Production Plan, and 2017 voter support, the Housing Bank MV Campaign is presenting two warrant articles at each of the 2019 Annual Town Meetings by petition: one to create an Island-wide Housing Bank and one to provide it reliable annual funding, using a portion of the revenues the towns will be receiving from the newly expanded local excise rooms tax, which now includes short-term rentals as well as hotels, motels, and B&Bs. The Vineyard’s housing crisis demands an Island-wide solution.
DIVERSE NEEDS, DIVERSE SOLUTIONS
of all housing units on Martha’s Vineyard are strictly for seasonal vacation use.
the MEDIAN island home costs $670,000
of year-round households are considered low/moderate-income - 27% below the statewide average.
Attrition Hurts our island community
of the Island’s low/moderate-income year-round residents spend more than 50% of their gross income on housing (some of which is unstable), leaving little left over for savings, emergencies, or retirement.