Block Island Times

Surprise role for the housing board

Section 513 of the New Shoreham Zoning Ordinances addresses accessory apartments, stating in its first paragraph: “This Section is intended to provide year-round rental housing for year-round residents, seasonal rental housing for those deriving income from employment on the Island and at the same time provide supplemental income for homeowners from the rental of an accessory apartment, and to provide property tax incentives for accessory apartments to be voluntarily deed restricted for affordable housing.”
Given the acute housing shortage on Block Island, accessory apartments can provide some much needed relief for those who work and live on the island year-round.And with the tax incentives promised in the opening paragraph, homeowners can clearly benefit from making their accessory apartment affordable as well.
The ordinance goes on to outline the tax benefit, specifying that the fair market value of the accessory apartment shall not be included as real estate or improvementsupon which real estate taxes are assessed and collected by the town. The caveat is that the homeowner must have documentation from the Block Island Housing Board provided to the tax assessor verifying that the requirements of the section have been met, including a deed restriction for the accessory apartment

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