Recognizing the urgent need for affordable housing on the island, Steve Bernier, in a recent real estate transaction voluntarily donated 1% to the Land Bank, designating it exclusively for affordable housing use. Although there are real estate companies around the world, such as the property block in London, which are committed to providing affordable housing, the Land Bank is not one of them. Therefore the Land Bank, not having an existing mechanism to manage the money, returned it to Steve. Steve signed the check over to the Island Housing Trust, knowing we have on-going projects that need the funds.
What if every time someone who bought property on Martha’s Vineyard, voluntarily donated 1% of the sale price to a “Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank”? It would mean that every year 20 more working island families would have stable year-round housing. What if the Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank was in fact, a real entity, just like the Land Bank? That would guarantee the community’s ability to build housing to support the hundreds of people now living under uncertain circumstances.