The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has released the results of a monthlong survey that will contribute to the creation of official housing production plans on the Island.

About 590 residents completed the survey online, with about 100 paper copies still to be counted as of last week.

The results so far confirm a stark contrast between the needs of renters and homeowners on the Island, and will contribute to the final housing production plans for each town and the Island as a whole.

Peter Temple, a member of the all-Island planning board, which launched the initiative to develop housing production plans this year, said the survey was created after a first round of public workshops in September fell short of expectations in terms of attendance.

“We wanted to hear from more people and have them feel they were a part of the process,” Mr. Temple told the Gazette at the third and final workshop in West Tisbury on Monday. Other towns are also expected to wrap up their workshops this week, with residents weighing in on some of the key ideas so far.

About 85 per cent of survey respondents said they lived in year-round housing on the Island, with slightly more participation from owners than renters. Oak Bluffs had the highest share of responses, followed by Tisbury, Edgartown, West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah. The vast majority of people who attended the workshops in September were year-round homeowners.

Renters and owners revealed similar priorities among a list of broad housing needs, with options for households earning less than $50,000 per year and starter homes for young families topping the list. For each group, households earning more than $100,000 per year were given lowest priority, after housing for seasonal workers and maintaining the character of the town and Island. Elder housing ranked slightly higher among owners than renters, perhaps a reflection of an older homeowner population in general.

Apart from the survey, many experts have pointed to the need for year-round workforce housing, which the commission defines as housing for people earning up to 120 per cent of the area median income. Meanwhile, the housing production plans aim to achieve a state goal of 10 per cent affordable housing stock in each town, targeting households earning up to 80 per cent of the area median income.

In any case, renters clearly tipped the scale of housing need, with only about 13 per cent of survey respondents saying they were happy with their current housing situation. Nearly a third said they wanted to own a home but couldn’t afford one on the Island. And about 45 per cent said they needed a year-round (or more affordable year-round) rental. By contrast, about 82 per cent of owners said they were happy with their current situation, and only about 18 per cent indicated any sort of personal housing need.

Renters also reported much lower household incomes, with more than three quarters averaging less than $75,000 per year. About 86 per cent of owners reported salaries exceeding that amount, including about 21 per cent earning more than $150,000 per year.

More than a third of renters were severely cost burdened, spending more than half their incomes on housing, compared to just 15 per cent among owners.

Other factors also highlighted the contrast between the two groups. Almost all renters moved into their homes after 2000, for example, compared to many more longer-term owners. Renters were also younger and tended to be single, although about three per cent reported households with five members or more, compared to two per cent among owners.

Despite recognizing the same general needs, each group had slightly different opinions about the various strategies listed in the survey. More renters showed moderate or complete support for an Island housing bank (akin to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank and its two per cent surcharge on property transactions), and for allowing guest houses and accessory apartments. Not surprisingly, complete support for all solutions was higher among renters — except when it came to increasing density in areas where density already exists. On average, guest houses and accessory apartments were the most popular strategy among both groups.

The survey results will be added to data collected so far for the housing production plans, which are expected early next year, along with an update to the 2013 Martha’s Vineyard housing needs assessment. Jennifer Goldson of JM Goldson community preservation + planning, who is overseeing the process, said Monday that she expects to complete the first drafts by January.

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