Workforce Housing Partnership

In partnership with local businesses we have launched a new initiative to address the island’s workforce housing crisis. Right now, there are over 600 working island families and individuals without stable year-round housing. As part of this initiative we are meeting with local businesses and asking them to join our partnership. With their help and financial support we have created an ad campaign, to help raise awareness of this island wide problem that is impacting our entire community. Together, we can create permanent solutions.

We are grateful for the support of our business partners whose logos are featured here. To learn more and become a partner click here or contact Breeze Tonnesen at


Kuehn’s Way Pocket Neighborhood

Over the past six months the Island Housing Trust working with the design/build team of  LDa Architects  and Williams Building Company, along with the surveying and engineering firm of Vineyard Land Surveying, has developed a schematic design for a neighborhood of rental duplexes on a 15-acre property on State Road in Tisbury. During this time, public meetings were held to listen to neighbor’s concerns and solicit input from the broader public.  The proposal requires approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and the Tisbury ZBA.  A summary and detailed information on Kuehn’s Way can be downloaded here.

Schematic site plan showing the proposed clustered Kuehn’s Way neighborhood at the southern portion of a 15-acre parcel next to State Road in Tisbury, protects nearly 12 acres of surrounding woodlands and the Red Coat Hill Road ancient way.  This conservation based affordable housing initiative involves a partnership with the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank who holds a conservation easement on the 9-acre portion of the property north of Red Coat Hill Road.

ILLUSTRATIVE PLAN KW.compressedThe Kuehn’s Way neighborhood site plan consists of a single road curving up the center of the property with five pairings of two duplex buildings and 35 parking spaces on either side of the road.

KW Site PlanFour wells and a denitrification septic system will serve a total of 20 apartments and 40 bedrooms, along with a cistern for fire protection.

160613_IHT Render View05.compressedBuilding heights will be one and one and a half stories or 22-24’ above existing grade levels.

Buildings materials will be all natural (cedar shingles and trim), so materials will weather to brown-grey. Asphalt roof will also be a naturalized color.

There is no neighborhood lighting planned for Kuehn’s Way. Each entry door is required by code to have an exterior light, which will be a shielded fixture so light only shines downward.

Buildings have been oriented so that gable (i.e. narrow) ends face toward the neighboring properties to the east and west to reduce the perceived massing, and variations in the quad configurations will create variety among the rooflines and building massing.

160613 KUEHN'S WAY PERSPECTIVE.compressedBuildings in each of the quads are connected by a shared courtyard, accessible by ramps, and will include outdoor seating and plantings.



Water Street Apartments – Now Accepting Applications

The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, on behalf of the Island Housing Trust, is currently accepting applications for the Water Street Apartments. These rental apartments located in downtown Vineyard Haven include six 1-bedroom apartments with rents set at 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income.

Applications can be down loaded at Water Street Apartments Rent Application or by visiting the Vineyard Housing Office at 346 State Road in Vineyard Haven or by calling 508-693-4419.

MV Vision Fellow graduates from Achieving Excellence

Philippe Jordi, founding director of the Island Housing Trust, graduated from the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University this past month. Philippe is one of forty-nine community development leaders from across the country to graduate from this prestigious 18-month executive leadership program. The program is designed to help create transformational change within organizations and communities. Through this program, Philippe helped to build the Island Housing Trust’s leadership capacity at the staff and board level and increased housing production, making Island Housing Trust the Island’s leading non-profit developer of affordable housing.

“Philippe’s successful completion of the Achieving Excellence program is a testament to his leadership and long-term commitment to creating housing solutions for our Island” said Richard Leonard, president of the board for the Island Housing Trust.

The Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship generously supported Philippe’s program. The Vision Fellowship is dedicated to encouraging a healthy and vibrant Vineyard future by investing in promising individuals who demonstrate a commitment to the Island and to the ideals of sustainability. The Vision Fellowship supports people seeking to enhance their understanding of the challenges to the Island’s environment and social fabric with the goal of helping them become effective leaders in maintaining the unique nature of Martha’s Vineyard for future generations.

About NeighborWorks America
For more than 35 years, NeighborWorks America, a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $24.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

Truly Affordable – The Story of the Pinckney House

Dan Martino from Martha’s Vineyard Productions has produced a short three minute video entitled Truly Affordable – The Story of the Pinckney House describing the “deep energy retrofit” process that transformed an older Oak Bluffs house bequeathed to the Island Housing Trust by Lorraine and Napoleon Pinckney into an energy efficient, healthy, and truly affordable home. Marc Rosenbaum from South Mountain Company explains the benefits of conducting a deep energy retrofit and Farley Pedler from Farley Built describes the steps involved in bring an older under performing house into the 21st century. The video was made possible through the sponsorship of the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship, Farley Built, and South Mountain Company.