Planning—Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket Affordable Housing Strategy

Due to its popularity as a resort destination and the scarcity of developable land, the island of Nantucket experiences extremely high housing costs. Local workers vital to the island's economy are finding it almost impossible to find affordable housing. In early 2000, the minimum price for a vacant lot was estimated to be $180,000, while the lowest price for a home on the market was nearly $450,000. The situation has become so critical that many workers are forced commute to Nantucket by ferry or small aircraft. The Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission (NPEDC) hired Jonathan Rose Companies to investigate the issues, research potential zoning tools and outline a strategy to provide affordable housing to households of low to moderate incomes.

Jonathan Rose Companies prepared a report that described the existing situation and outlined a number of recommendations, including the creation of a Housing Office and tools to expand the housing options for year-round middle-income residents and seasonal employees. Building on our experience with comparable resort communities, the report recommended the adoption of “resident only” housing. The model involved the use of permanent deed restrictions to maintain a viable stock of affordable housing units for island residents and employees. Our team also proposed income and residency guidelines to support our plan.

When the draft Comprehensive Plan was issued in early 2000, the NPEDC asked Jonathan Rose Companies to return to the island to attend several public meetings and prepare a report on alternative ways to structure the Housing Office and “resident only” regulations. This follow-up work spurred the creation of an ad hoc housing task force, and generated positive momentum for implementing the Comprehensive Plan's affordable housing recommendations.

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Project Profile

The development and preparation of an affordable housing chapter for the Nantucket comprehensive plan 

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Project Team
Joel Russell Esq.
Project Status

Completion: 2000

Total Project Size / Budget