To the Editor:
Thank you to all who showed up Friday night, March 22, to ask questions about the Housing Bank MV campaign. And thank you to those who pledged your support for the effort to approve two warrant articles at our upcoming town meetings that would create and fund the year-round housing we desperately need to preserve our community and our way of life on Martha’s Vineyard.
From the stage at the Performing Arts Center, it seemed that nearly 150 of you came to the Q and A Forum, and the session — scheduled from 5:30 to 7 — did not wrap up until 8:15!
In case you missed it, why an Island-wide Housing Bank?
Current efforts and funding do not meet our enormous need. All towns’ housing production plans agree, calling for pooling Island-wide resources for Island-wide solutions, and using a portion of the “short-term rental” tax revenue to do so.
The state legislature has created the source of funding, and the expanded rooms tax will produce a significant amount of new revenue. If we do not commit a portion of it to year-round housing now, it will get spent elsewhere. This opportunity will be lost forever if we don’t vote yes at town meetings now, and tell the legislature loud and clear that the Vineyard will fight to preserve its community.
This is a unique — once-in-a-generation — opportunity. We urge you to go to your town meetings, vote, and make your support heard.
Makenzie Brookes, Greg Orcutt, Doug Ruskin, Peter Temple
Housing Bank campaign steering committee