It’s time to support Housing Bank

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To the Editor:

Enough is enough. With the new tax on rentals, it’s time to embrace creating a cash flow for housing that is reliable and dependable. Support the Housing Bank, and we’ve done it.

If you are one of the thousands of people who rent on M.V., you can see huge benefits from a Housing Bank. For instance, rental subsidies can take homes off the summer market and turn them back into year-round rentals. We can repurpose larger four-plus-bedroom homes into apartments, buy and renovate older homes. We can build new rental housing, and support initiatives that help create stability for the Island and its community. Stability is critical for the people who live here and struggle yearly, and can never get ahead.

Martha’s Vineyard is plagued with housing insecurity. What does housing security mean and look like? Housing security means stability, knowing you have a home you can afford and that your family can count on. It means an emotional investment into a place you love. A quality of life that has remained a struggle for so many for too long. It means children not worrying about tomorrow. Everyone on Martha’s Vineyard deserves housing security. Speak up, vote, and bring some friends to engage in the discussion. The housing movement needs to hear from the people who will benefit from positive change. So far it’s mostly the people who own homes making decisions for the rest. Apathy is unacceptable, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you don’t raise your voice, then you are happy with the situation. Speak up, get involved, and help make the changes you want. Vote for the Housing Bank.

When we vote it in, it will still take two years to make it happen. There is some negotiation along the way to allow us to make this the best Housing Bank we can. We will be a role model for other cities and towns in the U.S., as we should. We can work out the details while it goes to the government to get ratified. Towns can still negotiate the details, and withdraw later if they are not happy. Let’s send a message to the politicians that the time is now, and our community needs a Housing Bank on M.V.

Jim Feiner
Menemsha