Green Affordable Housing Projects Announced

The Island Housing Trust is soliciting bids from qualified contractors for the design and construction of two three-bedroom homes at 619 Edgartown Road in West Tisbury and the construction of two townhouses at 129 Lake Street in Vineyard Haven. Both projects require that contractors meet high building design and construction standards that optimize the energy efficiency and durability. These homes will be sold with affordability restrictions to low and moderate income qualified homebuyers for between $185,000 and $225,000.   Qualified contractors are encouraged to download a copy of the Request for Proposals from the Island Housing Trust’s website at and to contact Philippe Jordi at the Island Housing Trust at (508) 693-1117 or with any questions.



Ribbon Cutting & Volunteer Appreciation Event

Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard (HabitatMV) will host a ribbon-cutting and volunteer appreciation reception for its most recently completed affordable home in West Tisbury on Saturday June 23 at 4:00 p.m. The home, Habitat’s eighth on Martha’s Vineyard, will be purchased by Joe and Jennifer Fragosa and their young daughter with a land lease from the Island Housing Trust , and is located at 49 Bailey Park Rd, off Great Plains Rd (which comes off Old County Rd) in West Tisbury. The event will include a house tour and will last approximately 30 minutes with refreshments to follow. The public is warmly invited to attend rain or shine.

According to Neal A. Sullivan, Executive Director of HabitatMV, the Fragosas’ one-story, three-bedroom home was moved in two halves to Bailey Park from the State Road site of Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, which donated the structure, foundation and moving costs. Stripping the house down to the frame and rebuilding it consumed more than 2,600 hours by 141 community volunteers, including some 600 sweat equity hours by the Fragosas and their families, as well as thousands of dollars worth of building materials and services donated by island individuals and businesses.

For the Fragosas, cutting the ribbon and thanking the volunteers means they are close to move-in. “We’re so grateful for all the help, and we’ve really enjoyed the relationships we’ve built with volunteers in the process,” said Joe Fragosa, an arborist who is the owner of Water Views Tree Service in West Tisbury. Jennifer Fragosa, who is a swim teacher, translator and home-schooling mom, added, “Right now our daughter’s play area, her school room, our living room and kitchen are all in one room. We look forward to having separate spaces for all those.”

Construction is currently underway on the second of the three HabitatMV homes slated for Bailey Park. Sullivan says he anticipates completion of 50 Bailey Park Road this year.

The third and final HabitatMV home at 45 Bailey Park is in the design phase and will begin construction after a partner family is selected this summer.

Island Grown Initiative Acquires Thimble Farm

Island Grown Initiative (IGI) has reached an agreement to purchase the 40.7-acre Thimble Farm Property located just off of Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road with land in three towns including Tisbury, West Tisbury and Oak Bluffs.   The property is one of the largest working farms left on the island and has been in commercial vegetable production since the 1980s.   IGI is purchasing and operating the property with the support of a number of contributors, including Allan and Shelley Holt, seasonal Chilmark residents.

Allan and Shelley Holt became involved in the purchase after reading about the IGI’s effort to preserve the property in the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette.  The Holts discussed the farm with Mary Kenworth, owner of State Road Restaurant and a Core Group Member of IGI.  Motivated by their love of the island and their concern for the future of the farm, the Holts decided to make a significant financial contribution to IGI towards the purchase of the 40.7-acre property.  Their action revived the effort to keep the farm in sustainable agriculture and allowed IGI to make a viable offer towards a purchase.

IGI’s move to acquire Thimble Farm is the culmination of a long effort to preserve the property.  In 2007 the property was purchased by Eric Grubman and Elizabeth Compton, who are also seasonal residents of the Vineyard.  The significant size and scenic value of the farm made the property a prime target for the development of a private equestrian estate.  Andrew Woodruff, of West Tisbury, had been farming the property and attempting to find people who would support the long-term vision of keeping the property in farming. Mr. Woodruff worked with various people and organizations to further this mission. In coordination with Mr. Woodruff’s vision, Mr. Grubman and his family got involved to give Island organizations time to formulate a long-term plan.  In connection with IGI’s purchase of the property, many organizations have been involved and given valuable input including Sherriff’s Meadow, Land Bank, Agricultural Society, FARM Institute, Island Housing Trust, Vineyard Conservation Society, and others.

This purchase by IGI with the support of donors and other Island groups will enable IGI to ensure the land remains in vegetable farming and associated agriculture.

“This farm is an opportunity for IGI to work with local farmers to help them keep the land in food production,” said IGI President Sarah McKay. “We thank everyone who has been part of this effort, particularly Allan and Shelley Holt – this wouldn’t be happening without their generosity, and we are deeply grateful for what they are doing for the future of farming on this Island.”

Five-Corners Property Donated

The Island Housing Trust is pleased to announce one of the island’s single largest affordable housing donations. Steve Bernier, owner of Cronig’s Market, has purchased a property at 6 Water Street in downtown Vineyard Haven, near five-corners, and donated it to the Island Housing Trust. The property is part of an important gateway to the island near the Steamship Authority ferry terminal. “The Island Housing Trust is incredibly grateful to Steve Bernier for his generous donation, and looks forward to working with the Town of Tisbury to re-use this centrally located property for needed workforce housing” said Richard Leonard, chairman of the Island Housing Trust. Property owners interested in donating land or restrictions to the Island Housing Trust, are encouraged to contact Philippe Jordi, executive director of the Island Housing Trust at 508-693-1117 or learn more at

Permanent Endowment Awards Grant

The Permanent Endowment of Martha’s Vineyard announced that the Island Housing Trust is the recipient of a grant in the amount of $1,500 from its General Discretionary Fund for the replacement of a computer and a software upgrade.  The Endowment received 25 proposals this fall totaling $125,923 in funding requests.   The Board has carefully evaluated each application and has awarded $27,550 in grants to 12 nonprofit organizations working on the Island in the fields of art and culture, education, elderly, the environment, health and human services, housing and youth.