Habitat’s mission is make homeownership affordable


To the Editor:

Thank you very much for covering the ribbon-cutting of Habitat’s eighth house on Saturday June 23. We are very pleased to have the coverage and appreciate the help in keeping the community informed of our progress.

I would like to clarify a few points in order for everyone to better understand how Habitat works on the Vineyard.

The sale has not yet taken place. The price of the house is actually determined based on the homeowners’ ability to pay. The price mentioned is near the maximum permitted by the town ($201,000 actually), but we will not close for another couple of weeks, and the price will be lower.

With regard to income qualifications, we serve those in the community earning 80 percent or less of Area Median Income. That figure varies by family size and is adjusted annually by the state and federal governments. For a family of three on Martha’s Vineyard, it is currently $62,320.

Finally, I would like to correct one of the comments attributed to me in the article. I believe what I said regarding our process was, “Our goal is for families to be able to afford their mortgage; sometimes it is less than they were paying in rent.”

In retrospect, I should have been even more comprehensive in the statement. Our mission first and foremost is to provide a stable home-ownership environment for families in the income bracket we serve. To that end, we make sure that the mortgage is affordable and ongoing operational costs, such as energy and maintenance, will be kept to a manageable level.

Doug Ruskin

West Tisbury