100 housing units planned for Oak Bluffs

The development would be located next to the Southern Tier project. 

Green Villa, a 100 unit affordable workforce housing development, is being planned right next to the Southern Tier project. —Courtesy M.V. Public Schools

Work is underway to establish a 100-unit affordable housing, mixed-use complex in Oak Bluffs. 

During the All-Island School Committee meeting on Thursday, representatives of the Green Villa affordable housing project tried to spread awareness for the project. 

According to the presenters, the project is aiming to supply affordable, year-round workforce housing. The project is planned to consist of 100 for-sale units on an eight-acre site on property made up of 71 and 77 Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs. 

The plan is also to have four retail stores in the complex, to provide closer services, like a grocery store or a pharmacy. The development would be adjacent to Southern Tier, another affordable housing complex in the works by Island Housing Trust and Affirmative Investments. 

Atwood Co. and Millers Professionals are developing the project. Atwood Co. is also developing more than 60 units of housing in Edgartown, called Edgartown Gardens.

“The increase in home prices on the Vineyard has become disconnected with the Islanders’ income, literally making it impossible to be securing housing,” said Michele Casavant, the principal broker at Vineyard Village Realty and an on-Island attorney, adding that half of the housing units on the Vineyard are used by visitors. 

Casavant said Green Villa can help remedy a part of the housing crisis by providing affordable, for-sale units. “The philosophy is if you want to attract and retain good teachers and good employees on-Island, people want to have home ownership,” she said. “They don’t want to be transient and just renting.” 

Permitting is expected to begin on Nov. 17, with a completion goal next October, according to Cassavant.

“We’re hoping to begin construction in December of 2024 and have residents occupying in 2025,” she said. 

A point Casavant underscored was this development was proceeding without any monetary subsidies, like Community Preservation Committee funding or tax credits.

William Cumming, a real estate investor and lender, who is also a graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, expanded on the project. All units are planned to be deed-restricted to be affordable based on 80 percent (or less) to 150 percent of Dukes County’s area median income. For a one-person household, this would be a range of $70,150 to $136,800 in 2023, according to the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority. Seventy-five units will be for households in the 150 percent income bracket, and 25 units will be for households in the 80 percent or lower range. If a homeowner wants to sell a unit, the buyer would need to fall under the same income range. 

“These will be perpetually deed-restricted,” Cumming said. 

The prices would be reviewed on an annual basis, and driven by the median income and mortgage rates. According to Cumming, based on current median income ranges and at an 8 percent mortgage rate, the units would range between around $218,000 — 80 percent of area median income for a one-bedroom unit — to $689,000, which would be the price for a two-bedroom unit for someone at 150 percent of the area median income. 

“We don’t set the pricing,” Cumming said. 

While for-profit investment is not allowed for units, businesses and organizations may purchase units for staff housing, keeping the rent in line with the area median income formulas. However, half of the units will be reserved for individual homeownership. Cumming also said the group was cognizant that teachers sometimes take year-long sabbaticals, so they are pushing for an allowance specifically for teachers to rent their units during that time. 

Cumming also said there would be aspects of the project to look into, like traffic concerns. He did say that the development plans to use innovative and advanced septic systems to reduce nitrogen issues.

Among the different questions committee members had about the project, the most common one regarded the possibility of housing Martha’s Vineyard school system staff members. Cumming said details are still in the works. While there is a preference for Oak Bluffs residents, Cumming said, the school system can be a priority group. Cumming said his group wants to work collaboratively. 

“It’s important to me, having grown up on the Island, and valuing my education on the Island,” Cumming said. “You’re an important piece of … what we want to accomplish.”


  1. One hundred more units of affordable housing coming online, and without the necessity of a tax on Vineyard Homeowners and without the creation of a new bureaucracy to develop, assign and administer the affordable housing. The Housing Bank Bill is both unnecessary and anti-environmental. Passage will juice the development of affordable housing beyond environmentally sustainable levels. There is still time to say “No”. Keep Our Island Green

    • Dan keep up the good education you provide on this issue. Taxing people more is not the answer to solving problems. We already are paying plenty in taxes. The issue is how that revenue is spent. This is a great sounding project, and by the time the MVC and the other various boards get their hands on this it will cost 2X as much

        • Definition of tax “a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.”
          So yes, it is a tax.

  2. It’s about time. If they look anything remotely like the condo buildings next to the Sands of Time motel in Woods Hole, they’d be a distinct improvement over some of the derelict, dangerous, about-to-collapse houses on Dukes County Road that could have been taken by eminent domain and rehabbed for affordable/workforce housing while any hope remained. Lost opportunities . . .

  3. So the island currently has about 200 affordable housing units in the works and now another 100?? Where does it end? When will enough be enough?

  4. I admire the thoughtful, collaborative approach to this project – ensuring future affordability with the deed restriction structure, using innovative septic solutions, prioritizing home ownership, and considering teachers’ sabbaticals. The housing crisis can’t be solved by one development, but this seems like it will make a sizable impact.

  5. With that kind to development, infrastructure needs to be in place – water, sewer and additional traffic. Will there be a signal light to control the flow the traffic? If you are relying on a stop sign; you might want to re-think that option.

  6. I will remain a broken record. How is this housing development over the sole source aquifer with 100 units dumping pfas into the ground ok with anyone. Sarcasm to follow. Oh. Because this feels good and we look the other way with this pfas show stopper for the track project because the planning board chair likes this project. Notice that the developer talked about nitrogen great septics but skipped the scary pfas story. Planning board and board of health will stick their collective heads in the sand yet again. Pfas is either an issue over the aquifer or it isn’t. Please treat applicants equally on this issue and don’t give me there is an alternative with grass. You just don’t have to build these pfas polluting units over the aquifer either. There in an alternative. Build somewhere else. That is what the planning board wants to tell the judge about the track! That’s why this appeal thing isn’t closed yet. Treat each project equally PB. We all know there is favoritism in the world. It’s front and center right here.

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