The Island Housing Trust recently received certification as a community development corporation (CDC) from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. CDCs are non-profit, community-based organizations that anchor capital locally through the development of residential and/or commercial property, ranging from affordable housing to local businesses. Similar to other CDCs, the Trust’s board composition includes a cross section of the island community including its homeowners, municipal government representatives, and the community-at-large members. As part of its business plan, the Trust plans to apply to the state for Community Investment grant and Tax Credit funds. The Tax Credits will allow businesses and individuals to invest in the Trust’s plan to create and sustain permanently affordable homes island-wide.
“We’ll be working in partnership with island towns, other housing organizations, our homeowners and renters, and island residents over the next six months to develop a community investment plan that will address how we plan to create and steward affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for working island families and individuals over the next decade,” said Philippe Jordi, director of the Trust. “We’re excited about the possibility of local businesses and island residents personally investing in the Trust through this state tax credit program that we’ll be applying for later this year,” said Richard Leonard, president of the Trust.
In other news, the Trust also recently announced the addition of four new board members representing Trust homeowners at its annual board meeting, including: Elizabeth Loucks, Richard Jacobs, Sheetal Reubens, and Marc Schoenfeld. Ms. Loucks is the Southeast Massachusetts land steward for The Nature Conservancy, Mr. Jacobs works for the Up Island Regional School District as the West Tisbury school custodian, Ms. Reubens works for the Town of Tisbury Department of Public Works as their administrative secretary, and Mr. Schoenfeld works for the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital as their facilities assistant.
At the annual meeting, treasurer Dan Seidman announced a record year for the organization thanks to growing public and private support of over $1.7 million in grants and donations, the sale of four homes and ground lease of six properties, lease fees from over 50 properties, and professional service fees – all part of the organization’s business plan to diversify its revenue sources. As the leading non-profit developer of affordable housing on Martha’s Vineyard over the past eight years, Mr. Seidman points to the Trust’s strong partnerships with the island towns and banks, the Land Bank, Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard and the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, as well as a new collaboration with the Island Grown Initiative to develop farmworker housing at their recently acquired Thimble Farm property.
To download a copy of the organization’s annual report or to find out more about the Island Housing Trust, visit www.ihtmv.org or call the office at 508-693-1117.