After serving as an artillery officer in the Marine Corps, Captain Kevin MacDevette moved to the Vineyard. Drawn to the Island’s oyster industry, and with a long history of visiting the Island, MacDevette and his family have struggled with housing. He and his family live in Vermont, but are actively looking for housing on the Island.
We lost our cottage we were in because the owners thought it was too small to have a baby in.
We’re hoping to get winter and school-year housing so our oldest daughter, who won the Charter School lottery, can attend. We started bouncing around after we lost the cottage in 2015; we didn’t have year-round housing. We had summer and winter housing for a good bit.
We almost won the housing with Habitat for Humanity that went up near the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground. The original pool was pretty big; they let us know we were in the top three. They interviewed us and everything, then we found out a couple weeks after that we didn’t get it.
As a veteran, that threw me into a tailspin and affected my PTSD a lot. It was on the Fourth of July that we found out — there were fireworks going on, we’d just lost this house. That made me pretty depressed.
I’d felt crazy at the time because we were the only ones during the Habitat for Humanity process that were camping, living out of an RV and tent.
My wife was pregnant when we moved, because we didn’t want her to give birth while we were camping, so we moved to my wife’s aunt’s house in Vermont. Shortly after the baby was born, we found out we got a year-round house to rent on the Island, but then the owners decided to sell that house a year after we rented it. That house had a lot of black mold and knob-and-tube wiring, and it just sold recently for $935,000.
My stepdaughter is still on the Island; she’s in college doing her schooling online. She’s only able to stay because her boyfriend’s family has housing on the Island. So it’s kind of like our family’s fractured right now.
Interviewed by Brian Dowd.