WHAT IS THE HOUSING BANK?

The Housing Bank warrant article outlines how the Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank will be structured and administered in order to have an Island-wide entity that can permanently provide for the creation and preservation of year-round housing throughout Martha's Vineyard. The Housing Bank’s governance and decision making would be modeled on the Land Bank - “regional focus, local control” - while its responsibilities would be modeled on the Municipal Affordable Housing Trusts (MHT) from MGL Chapter 44, Section 55C. The distribution of Island-wide funds would be managed by a Housing Bank Commission, and allocations will be made with collaboration, oversight, and approval from the Trustees of the MHT of the town in which projects are planned. The Housing Bank Commission would consist of seven members, one member elected by each Island town, plus one appointed by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority to ensure affordable housing and financing expertise. All terms would be three years, staggered. The Housing Bank would enable funds to be leveraged through bonding and other mechanisms, paving the way for more impactful and diverse projects. Administrative costs of the Housing Bank would be paid from its revenues. Upon passage on the floor of each Annual Town Meeting, the State Legislature in Boston must finalize and enact it.

HOW WOULD IT WORK?

  1. Structure similar to the Land Bank

    1. 6 elected Commissioners

    2. 1 appointed by Regional Housing Authority

    3. 3-year terms

    4. Decisions made jointly with town in which project is planned – “Regional Focus, Local Control”

  2. Powers similar to Towns’ municipal affordable Housing Trusts

    1. Uses strictly for year-round housing and infrastructure to support it

    2. Work with for-profit and non-profit developers

    3. Provide funding

    4. Borrow and bond

    5. Loan out (if necessary) to assist acquisitions, construction

BUT AN EMPTY BANK IS USELESS…HOW WILL IT BE FUNDED?