Grocer donates to Island Housing Trust by adding an additional 1 percent to his Land Bank fee

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Cronig’s Markets owner Steve Bernier, right, donated to the Island Housing Trust. IHT Executive Director Phillipe Jordi is at left. —Breeze Tonnesen

In a recent real estate transaction, Cronig’s Markets owner Steve Bernier donated an additional 1 percent to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, designating it exclusively for affordable housing use, according to a press release from the Island Housing Trust. The Land Bank, which doesn’t have an existing mechanism to manage the money, returned it to Mr. Bernier. He then signed the check over to the Island Housing Trust to address ongoing projects, the release said.

The press release poses the question, What if every time someone who bought property on Martha’s Vineyard voluntarily donated 1 percent of the sale price to a Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank? The IHT states in the release that those funds could create stable, year-round affordable housing for 20 Island families.