Asking Affordable Housing Trust To Support Lease To Locals

Julia Lindner •

To the editor: On March 19th, ACKNow Community Initiatives and Placemate (Lease to Locals founder and our partner), presented to the Affordable Housing Trust.

Our message was one of hope. The Lease to Locals pilot program has proven successful at chipping away at the housing crisis by offering incentives to homeowners for converting housing units into year-round rentals for locals workers and their families.

As the Housing Coordinator for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Jack Bulger puts it, "We're thrilled with the success of Lease to Locals on the island. Over roughly six months, nine hospital workers and their families have found housing through this program."

Since launching in September, the pilot project has unlocked 22 year-round rentals (including nine that were short-term rentals) with two more on the way, helping to house nearly sixty islanders. We’re incredibly grateful to our generous donors for allowing us to allocate roughly $450,000 to help middle-income families find housing.

Our request to the Affordable Housing Trust is to use a fraction (roughly 10%) of the $6.5M annual override taxpayers passed to help fund a second year of Lease to Locals.

For now, the program is on pause (because it’s been so successful!), and we have over 20 homeowners on the waitlist.

News of this program's success is spreading to the Cape. Earlier this month, Provincetown announced it's hiring Placemate to run its own Lease to Locals and allocating roughly $350,000 for the first year.

As (Provincetown) Town Manager Alex Morse says, “We realize that construction of new units takes time, and people are losing and looking for housing now. With that in mind, the Select Board and the Year-Round Market-Rate Rental Housing Trust have appropriated funds to launch this program to help qualified tenants immediately ahead of this summer season and beyond.”

We hope members of the Affordable Housing Trust will support Nantucket’s Lease to Locals like so many community members do and commit the funding required to ensure it continues to help local workers find housing.


Julia Lindner
Executive Director
ACKNow Community Initiatives

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