They’ve coined a new phrase: community housing.

A wide-ranging ad hoc citizen group has assembled in recent months with a single purpose: developing regional action plan to address the growing housing crisis on the Vineyard. The plan will eventually require a major source of funding, most likely through a housing bank modeled after the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank. Before that can happen a long road still lies ahead, including the need for approval by the state legislature.

But the first step before creating any entity comes at annual town elections beginning next week, when voters will be asked to weigh in on a nonbinding question that asks: “Are you in favor of establishing a regional housing bank to address the critical housing needs on the Vineyard?”

The question will appear on every town ballot except Edgartown.

“Eventually it’s going to take money to solve the problem,” said Abbe Burt, a member of the group that includes real estate professionals, conservationists and elected officials. “But right now what we are looking for is political will.”

Ms. Burt, a retired professional who lives in Vineyard Haven and still works part time in real estate, is an active member of the eclectic group that also includes Robert Sawyer, a Vineyard Haven resident who runs a real estate training program for professionals, Steve Ewing, an Edgartown dockbuilder and poet laureate, and Richard Toole, an Oak Bluffs caretaker and environmental activist.

In a brief interview at the Gazette this week, all spoke passionately about their commitment to solving the problem and the need for an Islandwide plan of attack.

Ms. Burt said was inspired to help spearhead the housing bank effort again after the recent planning and visioning effort around housing that took place in every Island town, led by the all-Island planning board , the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and outside consultants.

“When the report came out for Tisbury, I read the 81 pages and it struck me that it was the same thing I had read in 2001 and again in 2005,” she said. “A lot of little things have happened . . . . good things, but if we really are going to solve this we are going to have to try to take a specific, proactive step — and it needs to be regional.”

Mr. Toole, who sits on numerous Island committees, said the need for action on community housing has grown urgent. “The local people are being bid out of the market,” he said.

Mr. Sawyer agreed and added: “The term affordable housing means so many things to so many different people — year round housing, elderly housing, workforce housing.”

Mr. Ewing noted that it’s easy to find consensus on at least one point. “The problem has gotten worse since 2001 and 2005,” he said.

A regional housing bank bill in 2005 was strongly backed by Islanders, but faced stiff opposition from real estate lobbyists on Beacon Hill and later died in the state legislature.

The nonbinding housing bank question will appear on ballots in Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury next Thursday, April 13. The Chilmark annual town election is April 26. Tisbury holds its election on May 9, and the election in Aquinnah is May 10.

The Islandwide vote will not include Edgartown. An early version of the question had language about dedicating a large portion of Community Preservation Act funds for housing. Edgartown selectmen balked at that and refused to put the question on the own ballot. The language was later removed.

Two of the three Edgartown selectmen now support the concept of the housing bank and are among 11 selectmen that have put their names on an ad running in Island newspapers this week, along with other community leaders.

“Our group is dedicated to making this happen,” Mr. Sawyer said.