Block Island Times

Town mulls affordable housing options

The April 4 meeting of the New Shoreham Town Council began, as meetings so often do, with public comment. Alicia Martin of the ad-hoc group Block Island Affordable and Attainable Housing spoke to the council about the ongoing shortage of quality affordable housing on the island and the need to fund housing development. Martin suggested that one avenue of possible funding could be to use some of the money currently allocatedto the Block Island Land Trust for affordable housing.
The Land Trust receives a fee of three percent of all real estate sales on Block Island, which it uses to buy and conserve land. The enabling legislation allows up to a five percent fee, although the Land Trust has kept the fee at three percent. In 2021, the Land Trust collected $2,916,581 in real estate transfer fees. By contrast, the Block Island Housing Board, which works to build affordable housing on Block Island, received a little over $100,000 for 2021. The Housing Board is funded through a one-percent tax on short-term rental fees, not including hotels and inns.
As Block Island has grappled with the affordable housing shortage, there have been several suggestions of ways to get the

Block Island Times – Read More>>