On April 28th, more than 50 leaders from Nantucket housing nonprofits, local and state government, conservation groups, private developers, key employers, and residents came together to review the state of affordable housing on the Island.
Known as the Nantucket Housing Summit, the event was the first of its kind. Housing Nantucket designed and carried out the Summit, together with Housing and Community Development Consultant Ann L. Silverman. The vision for the Summit was to provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations currently involved in Nantucket affordable housing efforts to come together for the benefit of all those who work and live in the community. ReMain Nantucket and the Town of Nantucket’s Housing and Real Estate Office provided funding for the event.
“It was exciting to see local players, some of whom have never been in the same room with each other, brainstorm ideas on how to address the real-world challenges of developing affordable housing on Nantucket,” said Anne Kuszpa, Executive Director of Housing Nantucket.
Key problems were identified by participants in a survey before the meeting. Working in small groups, participants elaborated on the problems, coalesced around possible solutions, and agreed upon short-term strategies.
Identified problems included: a lack of land available for development, limited funding, insufficient resources to meet demand, lengthy build times, ongoing maintenance costs, and insufficient public education.
Participants enjoyed the opportunity to expand their networks and collaborate.
“Communities like Nantucket are challenged to meet the needs of the local workforce for housing,” Ann Silverman said. “But there was an impressive commitment to working together that bodes well for the future of this effort.”
By the end of the half-day Summit, participants identified eight short-term strategies which they agreed to collectively address. A top priority was the $6.5 million tax override for affordable housing initiatives, which was adopted at the May 6th Annual Town Meeting and must be approved by voters at the ballot on May 23rd. Other action items include collaboration with conservation groups, adopting an inclusionary zoning bylaw, and engaging the summer community.
Today, Housing Nantucket released a report which describes the day’s outcomes. Copies of the Housing Summit Report can be downloaded from Housing Nantucket’s website.
Established in 1994, Housing Nantucket is the only not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating mixed-income rental and homeownership solutions for the Nantucket community. Housing Nantucket has created 152 homes permanently restricted for income-qualified year-round residents, including 113 Covenant homes and 39 scattered-site Affordable Rentals. Housing Nantucket offers First-Time Homebuyer Education classes, advocates for affordable housing initiatives Island-wide, and provides long-term community housing stewardship for current and future generations. For more information, visit housingnantucket or call (508) 228-4422.
Contact: Anne Kuszpa, Executive Director of Housing Nantucket email@example.com