IHT sets ambitious goal at Sunday benefit brunch

Nonprofit aims to create 100 housing units by 2020.

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Former MIT chancellor Phillip Clay, professor emeritus of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, addresses the audience at Sunday's Island Housing Trust benefit brunch. —Rich Saltzberg

The Island Housing Trust (IHT) held its sixth annual summer benefit brunch at the Lambert’s Cove Inn on Sunday where approximately $332,500 was raised.

Under a four-post tent, scores of guests enjoyed a buffet brunch catered by Joe DaSilva and keyboard music from Jeremy Berlin before a succession of speakers took to a podium.

Trust executive director Philippe Jordi used the occasion to announce a four-year plan called Vision 2020, which he described as designed ”to create 100 new units for 300 Island residents and their families by the end of 2020.”

The trust will seek to raise $24 million in the next four years to realize that vision, he said. “We realize this is a very ambitious goal, but one that we can achieve with your support,” Mr. Jordi said.

“There are roughly 115,000 people on the Island on a typical summer day, but only 16,000 here in the winter,” Phillip Clay, emeritus professor of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and a former MIT chancellor, said to the attendees. “And those 16,000 people are the people who make the Island the attractive place we want to come to and to return to every year. So it becomes our obligation to make sure that the burden of affordable housing is appropriately addressed and aggressively addressed if we are to maintain the community we love.”

IHT has created 17 affordable rental apartments and 60 affordable owned houses to date, Mr. Jordi said.