Construction on an Edgartown skilled nursing complex with workforce housing could start later this year after it received its final state approval this week.

The Massachusetts Public Health Council voted Wednesday to approve Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard, a 70-bed nursing facility with 48 workforce housing units aimed at easing Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s need for skilled nursing residences and employee housing. The project had already received approvals from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Edgartown board of health and Edgartown planning board.

Pending a building permit, construction on the workforce housing part of the project could start as early as next month; construction on the nursing home is scheduled for this summer.

The approval comes as the hospital deals with a host of job openings, a result of the ongoing nationwide health worker shortage and the Island’s housing crisis. In February, the hospital and nursing home had more than 200 job openings and a 23 job vacancy rate.

The project would be the first of its kind for the Island.

“This will make a difference in the life of our seniors, the bedrock of our community who deserve to receive skilled nursing care on the Island,” said Denise Schepici, the president of the hospital. “And we are in desperate need of housing for our staff. Without places for our employees to live, we will struggle to continue the services our community is depending on us to deliver. We cannot wait; the current situation is not sustainable.”

According to the hospital, the project could be completed in late 2024 or mid-2025.

-Ethan Genter