A former Tisbury inn purchased by Island Housing Trust (IHT) less than a year ago is renovated and ready for employees of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to move in.
In what was billed as a “unique partnership,” the affordable housing nonprofit and hospital paired up to create 12 single rooms for year-round rentals at the former Hanover House, which include a shared kitchen, dining, and living spaces, but have en suite bathrooms. There are also three efficiency apartments available for rent.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon, IHT officials, bank representatives, hospital representatives, and housing advocates crowded into one of the common areas — shoes off to protect the hardwood floors — to celebrate the partnership.
“It doesn’t just affect our employees,” Denise Schepici, CEO at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, said. “It affects our entire community, because our employees take care of the entire Island.”
Schepici relayed a story of a certified nursing assistant (CNA) who rescinded her resignation after learning about the affordable rentals at the Hanover House. “Even before this ribbon-cutting, Hanover House is making a difference,” she said. “[The CNA] now has an affordable option to live here.”
“Wow,” said one of the audience members.
The hospital has entered into a renewable five-year lease on the property.
In another unique partnership, James Anthony, president of Martha’s Vineyard Bank, described M.V. Future Financing, a way for private individuals and foundations interested in investing $25,000 or more to provide $1.8 million in financing for Hanover House. Participants will purchase pieces of that loan, Anthony said. “They’re getting their money back. This is a low-risk investment,” he said. “We’re creating something that doesn’t exist elsewhere.”
Dan Seidman, a member of the IHT board, was credited with pushing for the Hanover House purchase by IHT executive director Philippe Jordi.
Seidman recalled his grandfather living in a single room at a YMCA as an affordable place to stay while he was starting out. The Hanover House model gives hospital workers something more than his grandfather had. “Everything being en suite, once Philippe and I saw this, we really had to do this,” he said.