Support for housing bill 


To the Editor:

I write today in support of H.2895, an act empowering cities and towns to impose a fee on home sales over $1 million to support affordable housing.

I am a member of the West Tisbury planning board. Our board voted unanimously to support this legislation. We sent the following letter to the West Tisbury select board: 

The West Tisbury planning board recognizes the severity of Martha’s Vineyard’s housing crisis, its negative impact on our economy and our community infrastructure, and the need for reliable long-term funding Island-wide to implement solutions. Zoning initiatives have been adopted, and still more can be introduced to ensure town zoning encourages the creation of affordable and attainable year-round housing. A significant funding source, beyond what is currently available to the town, is required for effectively utilizing these zoning initiatives.

Therefore, the planning board supports bills introduced in the Massachusetts legislature this session that seek to establish transfer fees on real estate transactions over a certain amount to fund affordable and attainable housing. We would furthermore like to see this legislation amended to allow deed restriction up to 240 percent of AMI, to appropriately address workforce housing needs on the Island.


Beatrice Phear

On behalf of the West Tisbury planning board