MassHousing commits $3.8 million in financing for new affordable and workforce housing on Martha’s Vineyard 

The non-profit Island Housing Trust is developing the 20-unit Kuehn’s Way in West Tisbury for lower- and moderate-income households   

Kuehn’s Way
MassHousing committed $3.8 million in affordable and workforce housing financing to Island Housing Trust for the development of Kuehn’s Way in West Tisbury

MassHousing has committed $3.8 million in affordable and workforce housing financing to the non-profit Island Housing Trust (IHT) for the development of Kuehn’s Way in West Tisbury, a 20-unit rental community for lower- and moderate-income households on Martha’s Vineyard.

Kuehn’s Way will be the largest new affordable rental housing development on Martha’s Vineyard in 15 years. The project is being built with modular units that are being shipped to the island and will be constructed into 10 duplex homes.

“Finding an affordable year-round rental home is a significant challenge for people who live and work on Martha’s Vineyard,” said MassHousingExecutive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “Kuehn’s Way will create housing stability and economic opportunity for 20 working households, and we commend Island Housing Trust for its steadfast commitment in confronting the housing challenges facing the Vineyard’s workforce.”

“What we’re seeing is dramatic,” said Philippe Jordi, Executive Director of IHT. “We’ve lost literally 600 year-round homes over the past 10 years that have been sold and converted to seasonal and short-term rentals, so we are now at a record low of year-round homes in our total housing stock, which is now at 38 percent. Kuehn’s Way will help bridge that gap.”

Located on State Road in West Tisbury, Kuehn’s Way will create two apartments restricted to household earning up to 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which will be supported through the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. The remaining 18 apartments will be workforce units restricted to households earning up to 80 percent of AMI. The AMI for Martha’s Vineyard is $104,700 for a household of four.

There will be 3 one-bedroom apartments, 14 two-bedroom apartments and 3 three-bedroom apartments.

MassHousing provided IHT with a $2 million permanent loan and $1.8 million in workforce housing funding from the Agency’s Workforce Housing Initiative.

Kuehn’s Way advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s goal of creating up to 1,000 new workforce housing units affordable to middle-income households through MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative. Since the inception of the initiative in 2016, MassHousing has committed or closed workforce housing financing totaling $127 million, to 61 projects, located in 24 cities and towns, and advanced the development of 5,049 housing units across a range of incomes, including 1,428 middle-income workforce units.

In addition to the MassHousing financing, other financing sources included $1 million from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $1.5 million in local Community Preservation Act funds, $1 million from the community Scale Housing Initiative, which is jointly administered by DHCD and MassHousing, and $2.3 million in developer funding. The construction lender is Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.

KBS Builders, Inc., of Maine, will construct the modular housing units and deliver them to the island. CapeBuilt Construction is the general contractor and will be responsible for building foundations and work at the site.

The architect is LDa Architecture and Interiors and the management agent is the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.

MassHousing has financed two rental housing communities on Martha’s Vineyard totaling 67 units of housing with an overall original loan amount of $9.6 million. The Agency has also provided home mortgage loans to 17 homebuyers and homeowners there with an original purchase principal balance of $3.4 million.