The Island Housing Trust hosted its annual meeting Saturday afternoon, reporting a year of growth from both a financial and housing development perspective.
Housing trust executive director Philippe Jordi presented the 2013 annual report to a gathered crowd of more than 30 people at the West Tisbury Library, noting that affordable housing activity had more than doubled since 2012, as had contributions to the trust itself.
The report was followed by a presentation from Joe Kriesberg of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and a panel discussion featuring Island housing advocates.
Throughout the meeting, presenters stressed that affordable housing was an Islandwide issue.
“Housing is one component of . . . a full spectrum needed for a community to be healthy,” board chairman Richard Leonard said.
Since its inception eight years ago, the housing trust has built 58 affordable homes. Last year, the trust sold nine homes on land it leased last year, including four built by the trust itself. Two homes were built by Habitat for Humanity, and two by Chilmark real estate agent Jim Feiner. Virginia York of Aquinnah built her own home on land leased in Aquinnah. Ms. York had moved 14 times in two years before building her home, Mr. Jordi said.
“We believe that stable housing leads to positive outcomes,” he said.
The housing trust is currently developing 15 rental properties, and recently purchased a six-unit building at Village Court in Vineyard Haven. Community Preservation Act funding to help rehabilitate the property was approved during Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and West Tisbury town meetings last week. The trust is also working on rental projects in Sepiessa and is developing a plan to build farmworker housing at Island Grown Institute’s Thimble Farm.
Total income for the housing trust in 2013 was $1.67 million, with the bulk coming from home sales ($860,000). The trust received $450,000 in project grants, largely from CPC funding, and $258,000 in private donations.
“I’m proud to acknowledge that over half of our donors are year-round residents,” Mr. Jordi said.
The trust spent $1.4 million last year, with $1.2 million going to build four houses and three rental units. The rental units are still under construction. A total of $147,000 was spent on administrative and management.
A full financial report is available at ihtmv.org
Mr. Kriesberg discussed the housing trust’s newest fundraising initiative, centered around a state tax credit program the trust qualified for last month. The housing trust was one of 38 community organizations to qualify for the program, and received $110,000 in tax credits.
“It’s by far the biggest program in many, many years,” Mr. Kriesberg said. Housing trust donors who make a contribution of $1,000 or more will receive a tax credit of 50 cents on the dollar. The donation can also be itemized on federal refunds. The trust is eligible to reapply for the program for two more years.
Mr. Jordi said the fundraising would allow the housing trust to raise public awareness and increase housing development to more than 100 homes over three years. Another goal is to continue maintaining current properties.
In other business, the board re-elected Richard Leonard as chairman, Paul Moreau as vice chairman, Dan Seidman as treasurer and Wendy Swolinsky as clerk.