IHT to build Meshacket neighborhood

Development will include 40 affordable and community housing units.

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IHT and Affirmative’s proposed design for the Meshacket project, which will include 36 rental and 4 ownership units. — screenshot

The Edgartown select board unanimously approved Affirmative Investments and Island Housing Trust’s proposal to construct 40 affordable and community housing units on Meshacket Road.

The project will consist of 36 affordable rental units and four community home-ownership units. An affordable housing project on the 6.76-acre parcel has been in the works for more than a decade. At a Nov. 17 meeting, the Meshacket selection committee voted to endorse IHT’s proposal.

“The committee was specifically impressed with the affordability mixed with the building design, attention to green space building practice, and financial preparedness,” a letter from the committee to the select board reads. “The resulting plan was approached with imagination and ingenuity.”

Board member Art Smadbeck, who was on the committee, said IHT’s presentation was “everything you could possibly hope for” for something the town has spent 15 years working on.

“This is great news; things are moving forward,” board chair Michael Donaroma said.

The board and town administrator James Hagerty praised the efforts of the committee as well. 

The $20.3 million project is split into $18.1 million for the 36 rental units, and $2.2 million for the home ownership units. Funding will come from IHT grants, Edgartown affordable housing trust, Edgartown state and federal low-income housing tax credits, sale of the ownership units, and other sources.

IHT is joined by Affirmative Investments, who will assist in funding the project. Additionally, IHT and Affirmative Investments will work with Community Builders to oversee the lease-up, management, and operations oversight for the Meshacket Road community. Community Builders also manages Morgan Woods, a 60-unit affordable housing neighborhood in Edgartown.

The proposal features making all 36 rental units affordable to households at or below 80 percent area median income (AMI) which is $67,650 for two people, according to 2021 median income levels for Dukes County. Two of the ownership units will be affordable to households at or below 100 percent AMI, which is $83,800 for two people.

The 40 units will be distributed across 14 buildings. There will be two two-bedroom, and two three-bedroom, 1.5-story ownership cottages. The rental units will consist of two 2.5-story manor houses with six one-bedroom units, and six two-bedroom units; one two-story manor house with two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom units; two 2.5-story manor houses with 12 two-bedroom units; four two-story, two-bedroom townhouse units; and four 1.5-story three-bedroom cottages.

Plans call for community indoor spaces, a playground, a passive recreation area, and paths to trails. A bus stop shelter, mailbox kiosk, and bicycle storage pavilion are also part of the plan. Homeownership units will have two dedicated parking spaces, and rental units will have 1.5 parking spaces.

According to the proposal timeline, construction is estimated to begin in the winter or early spring of 2024. Full occupancy is expected in the second quarter of 2025.

In other business, the select board unanimously approved maintaining the residential and commercial single tax rate. The town’s single tax rate was reduced by 25 cents to $3.03, while the town’s total taxable valuation went up from $9.8 billion to $10.6 billion.

“We’re staying the same across the board,” Donaroma said.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Anything that puts a dent in the island’s affordable housing deficit is wonderful. Kudos to IHT for being utterly dogged in heir mission. The Vineyard will be able to help many more realize the dream of permanent housing (if) the Housing Bank legislation is passed.

  2. On behalf of the entire Island Housing Trust team who have been working over the past 15-years for this historic moment, we are honored to have been selected along with our partner, Affirmative Investments, by Edgartown and Oak Bluffs to realize these two important town led projects.

    Philippe Jordi
    Executive Director

  3. More great news on the affordable housing front. All done without the need for an affordable housing tax on Vineyard homeowners.

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