If it is true that 65 per cent of our Island housing is seasonal, of the remaining homes a small percentage would be willing and able to house an extra person. It seems the affordable housing problem is in our backyards. We do have affordable apartments with restrictions. Not the best solution for everyone. There are many middle class people that would spend the money to build a small, extra space to the current codes. This is no easy task, and they would be willing to share their property and space. If they age and want to move into the smaller cottage, apartment, etc. they could rent out their home. Our zoning bylaws town by town are so restricted. They do not benefit the working people that are trying to live here.

We vote for these by laws. Write to your selectmen. Gather a group of citizens and propose a bylaw that makes sense and doesn’t tie the hands of the lower income person or the elderly. More flexibility would help a lot of people. Compare our zoning to that of Nantucket. On that island, property owners are allowed to rent out an accessory building or their main home. We have regulated ourselves to death. Many have to leave. I guess this makes more room for the billionaires.

Frida Snieder
Vineyard Haven