Housing Bank looks to the future


To the Editor:

As you may know, the transfer fee did not get included in the Affordable Homes Act. We are disappointed, maybe as disappointed as our state Sen. Julian Cyr, who has tirelessly worked for its passage. 

And, like Sen. Cyr, we are not done. Hardly. We will continue to fight for it, without pause.

Vineyard housing progress has been significant this year (for example, Island Housing Trust now has 129 units of approved new housing in its pipeline). The Affordable Homes Act, especially the Seasonal Communities provisions, will help us with new tools and funding.

But nowhere near enough. The housing bank and the transfer fee are needed more than ever. If we do not succeed in this session, we will turn our attention to the next session. 

This is a long haul. As we pave the path, we want to express our tremendous gratitude for an effort about which Julian Cyr said, “We are so close.”

Why so close? Because of you! From countless hours of work by volunteers and elected officials to hundreds of calls and letters in the final days, Islanders have done this work. Most Beacon Hill observers felt that your March 2023 statehouse rally was the most successful, well-attended, and moving show of support for an issue in recent memory.

It’s difficult to acknowledge this major bump in the road, especially for those “missing middle” Vineyarders — the heart of our workforce and public safety community — who do not qualify for any of those 129 units, but can’t possibly access our crazy housing market. The housing bank will change that. 

Stick with us — the bitter taste of this setback will make our eventual success all the sweeter. We’ll be letting you know next steps, and, of course, continuing to seek your thoughts and help.


Julie Fay and Arielle Faria, co-chairs
Coalition to Create the M.V. Housing Bank steering committee