Increasing affordable housing knowledge

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Kuehn's Way, which had a dedication in 2021, is one of the affordable housing projects the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank was involved in. — Eunki Seonwoo

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission unanimously approved sending two letters related to housing, one to the towns’ affordable housing committees and the other to the Island’s newspapers

“I attended a recent meeting of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s joint affordable housing group and the topic of conversation was how to increase the knowledge of the town advisory boards in regards to housing matters,” Land Bank executive director James Lengyel said. Among the proposed ways to do this, Lengyel said the more “practical and timely” way was “to engage the housing committees in providing options and ideas to the town advisory boards,” which resulted in the draft letter before the Land Bank commission. A “companion letter” will also be sent to the newspapers announcing that the letter to the committees will happen. 

Commission vice chair and Commonwealth representative Wesley Mott said he had no issue with the letters, which he found “fantastic.”

“I think, particularly, the list of all of the collaborations we’ve done for housing in the past is great to have in the public eye,” Motts said. “I don’t recall seeing it in print and I think it’s going to be a very useful document.” 

When asked by Aquinnah commissioner Sarah Thulin, Lengyel said although he has tried to grab the newspapers’ interest about past housing activities the Land Bank has done but there was no interest.

“I instead incorporated — you’ll notice in the draft letter — it includes the names of the various projects the Land Bank worked on,” Lengyel said, who believes voters would be interested in reading about what the Land Bank has done with affordable housing. 

During a later conversation with The Times, Lengyel clarified that he was referring to talks he had with reporters who told him they were not interested in the list of accomplishments because it was not current. However, Islanders interested in reading about what affordable housing projects the Land Bank has been involved in can find a list with descriptions at https://bit.ly/3WdDg0K.