Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

The West Tisbury affordable housing committee deserves praise and a hearty thank you from the Island’s aging adult population as it unanimously voted to create new apartments that will allow older adults to downsize with a sense of community.

Eighty per cent of the units must have at least one resident who is 55 years of age or older. With one in three Island residents now 65 years of age or older, it shouldn’t be hard to find new residents.

Almost two years ago, the voters of West Tisbury designated this parcel for affordable housing. Many of the voters who rose in support of the vote spoke of this vision for the development. Now the building may begin — three 2-bedroom apartments and five 1-bedroom apartments as well as a small community gathering room where residents and guests might enjoy a cup of coffee, a lecture or exercise class together.

Perhaps this development will create a blueprint that might be duplicated across the Island: small parcels of land creating safe housing with a sense of belonging for the Island’s aging adults.

Cindy Trish

The writer is the executive director of Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard.