Sepiessa Affordable Housing Expansion Approved

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has approved a plan to expand the Sepiessa Affordable Housing development in West Tisbury.

The application from the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority and the Island Housing Trust will add three affordable housing units with six bedrooms to the housing development on Clam Point Road. Right now, the housing complex consists of four units with six bedrooms.

The development is located on a three-acre parcel of land with a Title V septic system.

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Hard Numbers for Island Crisis: Report on Affordable Housing Provides Stark New Statistics
Mandy Locke

Consultant John Ryan this week provided firm statistical underpinnings for what Islanders have known anecdotally for years as they watch the struggles of friends and neighbors: The housing crunch on Martha's Vineyard has become a full-blown crisis.

The Island Affordable Housing Fund hired Mr. Ryan of Development Cycles to study the Vineyard's affordable housing problem.

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Housing Report Paints Grim Picture - Of Rental Market Crisis on Vineyard
Mandy Locke

You know exactly who they are - your son's second grade teacher, your neighbor whose spouse left last year, the EMT who revived your father last month. It's the regional high school class of 1997.

This is but a snapshot of the nearly 2,000 faces of those unfortunate enough to struggle month after month, year after year with the lack of affordable housing on Martha's Vineyard.

You've heard their stories dozens of times, but do you know just how severe the affordable housing problem is?

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Habitat for Humanity Celebrates
Katherine Wiley

Officials from the Martha's Vineyard chapter of Habitat for Humanity announced this week that they have signed a purchase and sales agreement to buy two acres of land in Edgartown.

The land is located off the West Tisbury Road near Bennett Way and, if all goes as planned, the group hopes to begin constructing two houses there late this spring.

It's apt that this news comes now, since this week also marks the completion of the chapter's first house on the Island.

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Land Court Hears Crucial MVC Case
Julia Wells

The chief justice of the Massachusetts Land Court heard arguments this week in a groundbreaking case that will ultimately decide whether the Martha's Vineyard Commission has the power to review low and moderate-income housing projects under Chapter 40B, a section of state law commonly known as the anti-snob zoning statute.

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MVC Power of Review on Housing Projects Upheld in Key Ruling by State Land Court
Julia Wells

MVC Power of Review on Housing Projects Upheld in Key Ruling by State Land Court

By JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

In a groundbreaking decision that affects every town on the Vineyard, the chief justice of the Massachusetts Land Court ruled last week that the Martha's Vineyard Commission has full power of review over low and moderate income housing projects under Chapter 40B, a section of state law commonly known as the anti-snob zoning statute.

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One Family's Vision Makes Dream of Affordable House Come True
Mandy Locke

It's the story of one Island family's refusal to gouge another year-round family struggling to find a home in an expensive real estate market. It's the story of a real estate broker determined to find the perfect buyer - a moderate-income Island family desperate to buy their own home after a decade of shuffling from one inadequate rental to another.

For once, it's an affordable housing story with a happy ending.

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For Another Island, Affordable Housing Seems a Virtually Impossible Hurdle
Mandy Locke

NANTUCKET - Walter Beinecke's name is spoken with a sense of awe and an undercurrent of resentment. He's the fellow, people here will tell you, who in the 1960s awoke this sleepy little island. He's the entrepreneur, who, owning much of Nantucket's downtown and practically all of the working harborfront - jammed with more fishing vessels than tourists in those days, did the math. He figured the place could benefit more from 100 people spending $100 each than 1,000 people buying a $10 T-shirt.

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Affordable Housing Fund Has a Goal, and Plans for Next Five Years
Mandy Locke

When leaders of the Island Affordable Housing Fund (IAHF) say they'll be collecting $14 million within five years, it's clear there's no room for negotiation.

"There's a lot to be done," John Abrams, chairman of the young non-profit's board, said flatly.

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Deed Riders, Covenants Now Shape the Debate in Affordable Housing
Mandy Locke

Three feet of snow blanketed the ground that day in 1977 when more than two dozen Islanders trudged into the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury, hoping to win a small piece of the Vineyard.

Ann Milstein was pregnant. Pat Carlet had three small daughters in tow. One by one, Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF) officials pulled names out of a box, awarding five Island families the right to buy land in Pilot Hill Farm at a bargain rate.

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