It’s go time. The opportunity for a transfer fee for housing is before us. This funding stream is critical to addressing the housing crisis for year-rounders and particularly to providing homeownership opportunities at a wide range of household incomes.
On Wednesday, July 20th, Sen. Julian Cyr introduced an amendment to the omnibus Economic Development bill at the State House. The amendment is our Home Rule Petition for a housing bank which we have been fighting for since 2016. Time is of the essence and your voice matters. The Senate took this bill up on Thursday, July 21. Please customize the draft e-mail below as you see fit and send to Senate President Spilka – being sure to copy Sen. Rodrigues, Sen. Cyr and myself:
Thank you in advance for taking the time to write in support today. Please share with anyone and everyone who is concerned about housing for our year-round community and would take the time to write. It would be great for the State House to hear from hundreds if not thousands of Nantucketers.
Municipal Housing Director
Dear Senate President Spilka,
I am a resident of Nantucket deeply concerned about the future of our community if we do not do something immediately to stop home purchase and rental costs from spiraling far out of reach of anyone but the wealthiest. Dozens of job openings at Nantucket Public Schools and across the Town have brought this into greater focus. Without a doubt, the recent Veranda House fire underscored the importance of having public safety personnel who can afford to live on Nantucket.
I know that Sen. Julian Cyr has proposed an amendment allow the Island to place a small surcharge on real estate transactions. Given the billions of dollars of real estate bought and sold on the island last year alone, this fund would allow us to preserve and build housing for people who are right now fleeing the island because of housing costs.
Firefighters, police officers, seniors, teachers, nurses, nonprofit employees, retail and restaurant workers -- they simply can't afford to live here. And we cannot survive as a community without them.
Nantucket is using all the tools presently available to it – CPA funds, zoning (e.g., multifamily and ADU by right), STR revenue, debt exclusions – but it is not enough. We need this modest real estate transfer fee to do the job.
Please help Nantucket and support Amendment 296 to S.3018 (Economic Development bill). And thank you for all you do on behalf of the Commonwealth.
[your name here]