The commission determined that The Island Housing Trust affordable apartment project near the busy Five Corners intersection would not contribute to traffic problems or have other adverse affects on the community.
A plan to convert an old house off Water street in Vineyard Haven into affordable apartments will require review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission as a development of regional impact. The location near the Five Corners intersection was a primary concern.
Twelve years in the making, the complicated deal with the town, the land bank and the Howard B. Hillman family will create affordable housing, add conservation land and save a historic home in Chilmark.
The Martha’s Vineyard Commission voted 8-2 Thursday night to approve eight new second-story rental apartments at Post Office Square in Edgartown. Commissioners who backed the plan said the acute need for workforce housing outweighed other problems.
In 2007 the town of Chilmark, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank and the Howard Hillman family announced a three-way land swap that was designed to save a historic house, open up a new conservation corridor and create more affordable housing up-Island.
Here are two words that are perfectly innocuous when standing alone, but always seem to raise hackles when put together: affordable and housing.
The term seems to evoke images of tenements and crack houses. And to be fair the history of affordable housing efforts on the Vineyard is not without hiccups. But the paucity of shelter that even middle-income people can buy or rent is indisputable and well documented. What makes the Island so attractive to summer visitors puts the price of real estate out of reach for many hardworking year-round residents.