Navigator Homes loaned $8M

A street-side view rendering of what Navigator Homes will look like. —LWDA, Inc.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a loan of approximately $8.5 million for the Navigator Homes senior housing project in Edgartown. 

The loan, made through USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loans and Guaranteed Loans program, is part of $53 million in loans that the department approved for construction and operation costs.

The loan will help build five 14-bed homes for seniors, and replace the Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Windemere will stay open until the Navigator Homes are operational.

Navigator Homes president and CEO David McDonough hopes to start project construction early next month, and finish in late summer or early fall 2025.

McDonough says that securing the USDA loans has been in the works for two and a half years, and he noted that U.S. Senator Ed Markey and Rep. Bill Keating helped move the project along during the underwriting process. Navigator Homes also raised over $5 million to complement the federal funding, McDonough says.

This summer, McDonough says, Navigator Homes is also looking to fundraise around $3 million to $3.5 million. 

“We now have adequate funding for building the project, but we will begin a fundraising campaign … to look at not bricks and mortar, but programs and other enhancements to provide a healthier environment for our Island seniors,” he said.

McDonough is looking for an artistic space to be added to the homes’ common area, citing the granite pond area at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum as inspiration. “Can we add to the environment for our seniors, so it’s not just a very nice commons … can we make it a really artistically inspiring place?” McDonough explained.

This future effort will also raise funds for programming. McDonough says that movie experiences may be provided for seniors, as well as guest lecturers and other informative events. “A very key component for the health of everyone, especially seniors, is social connectivity. You have to make sure you fend off social isolation,” McDonough says.

He also hopes that people from across the Island, not just project residents, will come to visit the space.

The project will also include 48 units of workforce housing, inside two apartment buildings, a townhouse, and four duplexes. These will be owned by Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. The $25 million cost of this workforce housing will be fully funded by community leadership philanthropy.

A large portion of the project’s land will also be conserved by Sheriff’s Meadow.

McDonough hopes that in 18 to 20 months, seniors on-Island will have access to 24/7 nursing.

“The alternative, if you don’t have a senior-living facility on the Island, [is that] if you fall down the stairs and break something and you need to be in rehab, you need to be sent off the Island. That becomes a completely terrible situation for the family and the elder,” he says.

All Windemere residents are eligible to transfer to the Navigator Homes, and the homes are not allowed to discriminate based on an applicant’s geographic origin. Daily rates for Navigator Homes residents in 2022–23 ranged from $328 per day with Medicaid to $600 per day with private pay.


  1. Great news that there is plenty of funding available for the development of affordable housing on MV. Any new tax on Vineyard homeowners is completely unneccessary, and will juice the development of AH beyond sustainable levels. The year round population of MV has grown by 25 percent in the last ten years. All these new residents found housing despite the so called “crisis”. Look at the Vineyard traffic in February. Overpopulation on MV is the real crisis. Say “No” to the housing bank bill. Keep Our Island Green.

  2. Can someone please remind me what the monthly cost is going to be for a senior to live there? From what I remember there are very few if any Island seniors that will be able to afford living there. This has always been about securing funding and making money for the hospital and all those involved. If it if it helps one or two seniors, that’s just the byproduct. And now they try manipulating the public more for the limited amount of charitable donations that are available on this island when there are legitimate cash starving Island charities that need the money.

    • $18K a month. It’s not a facility for regular islanders and at the same time they are shutting down the more affordable Windemere. This is a money grab by a massive corporation that has little regard for our community.

    • Define an Island senior.
      A born here?
      Went to school here?
      Moved here as a Hippie?
      Had some success off Island, semi-retired here twenty years ago.
      Belonger status on any island is always a touchy subject.
      More Island than thou……

      • Well, I was referring to “regular islanders”, I don’t think that has to be a native or anyone living here for any predetermined timeframe. I’m just thinking that most of the people I’ve met over the last several decades who live and work on the island probably can’t pony up the $216 grand a to pay for this service.

        • Define “regular Islanders”.
          Eight months a year on Island, the rest in Florida?
          Split your time between the Island, St. Barts and Aspen/
          Someone just like you?
          Do you feel that you are a “Belonger” in the Caribbean sense?
          Such a slippery slope.

  3. I have a question of whether island seniors will be living there. Federal funds I think means that anyone in the US can apply and must be open to all not just islanders. If this is true than this article is misleading.
    Kind of like Island Elderly Housing is open to anyone from anywhere in the US.
    Asking for charitable contributions on the basis of providing housing for island seniors and then having to allow off island seniors to fill the occupancy is not right.
    I would love clarification.

    • Here is the calcification.
      Federal funds, it’s open to all citizens.
      What is not right about donating to an organization that might accommodate non-islanders?
      Would it be wrong to accommodate the parents of someone who has been here for thirty years?
      How many months do you have to be here to be an Islander?
      If you live here less than nine months a year are you still an Islander?

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