Housing and Development

Survey Highlights Need for Year-Round Rental Housing

A Martha’s Vineyard Commission survey confirms a stark contrast between the needs of renters and homeowners on the Island.

Affordable Housing: An Urgent Need

It is important that in the rush to designate the entire Island as a “district of critical planning concern” that we not forget two other issues that have long been neglected on the Vineyard. The first is the urgent need for affordable housing. The second is the need for much more active comprehensive planning so that we will not lurch from crisis to crisis as we have been doing, while growth around us has continued unabated. This letter deals only with the first.
This will not be a treatise on affordable housing.

A Look at the Vineyard in the 21st Century

How’s this for a long view of the Vineyard, let’s say some time after the year 2000 when this fragile Island enters the 21st century.
  • A summer population of as much as 260,000.
  • More than 40,000 buildings situated on only 64,000 acres of Vineyard land.
  • Miles upon miles of asphalt roads criss-crossing back and forth across the length and breadth of the Island.
  • Housing construction riveted to rigid, evenly spaced grid plans, like another Levittown.

Definite Facts on Housing Units, Their Condition, Equipment

The 1960 census of housing of the U.S. Department of Commerce counted 5,340 housing units in Dukes County.

Dukes County Has 3,799 “Housing Units” for Its 5,699 Inhabitants

Dukes County boasts a total of 3,799 “housing units,” for its 5,669 inhabitants, according to revised figures issued by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for 1940. At the time the tally was made 1,699 of the houses were occupied, 524 were vacant and for sale or for rent, and 1,576 were vacant for other reasons.

More Than Third of Island Population Is on Relief

A total of 36.8 per cent of the population of Dukes County, calculated on the 1930 census, is being supported by public funds either from the ERA, public welfare or soldiers’ relief, according to figures compiled by the Hyannis Regional ERA office for February.
For Dukes County, the accompanying table shows, the total relief load is 479 cases, supporting 1,820 persons.

Editorial: Two Sides of a Question

Not long ago we heard a valued summer resident of an Island town discourse in a rather surprising way. She said:
“Some of us have formed a knockers’ club this year. If anyone asks us about the Vineyard, we say, ‘We-e-ell, the mosquitoes were pretty bad this season,’ or something of that sort designed to be discouraging. You see, it’s a question whether the Island isn’t becoming a little too popular, whether there haven’t been too many people around this year.”

Washqua Farm: The Region of Perfect Content

One of the most delightfully situated Islands on the Atlantic coast is the old Indian home of the Chappaquiddic Tribe, now almost extinct, but sparsely settled by parties who make life busy in the various callings associated with agriculture and fishing interests. This island is about three miles wide by five in length. In beauty of landscape and water view, with its general diversity of soil and rolling aspect of every hand, it has been appropriately called “a gem,” in a setting at once beautiful and enchanting.