A great start

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 8:30pm

There was some speculation that affordable rental units were more of a necessity by the town’s working class families and individuals than affordable homes.

However, that notion was seemingly dispelled when about 30 people showed up at an information session to learn about the financial guidelines for qualifying for one of the five homes being built in the Cherry Hill Lane subdivision. The construction of these homes is a welcome event.

Let’s be clear, Block Island has become increasingly out of reach for working class people. As our elder population continues to search for ways to age in place, our younger working families and single people have been searching for ways to stay here and be able to bring up their children here in this community. So many younger people have left the island because they couldn’t find adequate housing and were tired of the insecurity.

Cherry Hill Lane will bring, to a few, much needed stability and relief on the housing front. It will mean less anxiety. No more “Block Island shuffle.” Kudos to the Housing Board for the years of effort it took to get to this point. The attention to detail that each member took — those still on the board and those who were there at the beginning — was astonishing.

That does not mean there isn’t still work to be done. There has been talk of creating affordable rental units. If the turnout at the most recent information session for the homes is any indication, there’s a market here on Block Island for that.