Christine Witham (right) of the Witham Family Hotels Charitable Fund presents Marla O’Byrne, executive director of Island Housing Trust, with a check for $100,000 for IHT’s Coming Home campaign. PHOTO COURTESY OF IHT

Island Housing Trust receives $100K donation

BAR HARBOR — The Witham Family Hotels Charitable Fund has donated $100,000 donation to Island Housing Trust (IHT) in support of IHT’s Coming Home campaign. IHT aims to advance permanent workforce housing on Mount Desert Island. 

The Coming Home campaign is set to raise $3.5 million to support the completion of the 10-home Jones Marsh neighborhood, increase funding for its Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) that provides down payment assistance to qualified buyers, and create an Opportunities Fund that will allow IHT to act quickly when new opportunities arise to acquire land or affordable homes. The Witham gift, which was matched by an anonymous donor, will help bring the campaign to a close by the end of the year. 

David, Chris and Anne Witham believe in giving back to Mount Desert Island communities. “The ability of the island to house a year-round community with a blend of generations is quickly eroding,” said David Witham. “We strongly believe in and support IHT’s mission. They are turning the tide, getting families back on the island and kids back in our schools – for the health of the community as a whole.” 

Marla O’Byrne, executive director of Island Housing Trust, said, “This generous donation will help us meet our challenge grant, but most importantly it will enable us to do so much to provide more year-round housing opportunities on MDI. We are extremely grateful for this gift, and for the growing partnership between Witham Family Hotels and IHT.”  

Witham Family Hotels Charitable Fund was established in 2017 to carry on the philanthropic legacy of hotelier David J. Witham. The fund is dedicated to supporting local and regional organizations that provide charitable services to the community. Monetary support of the fund is provided by Witham Family Hotels, a Maine hospitality company based in the Acadia National Park area. 

Since 2003, IHT has completed 48 homeownership projects serving 143 adults and children on MDI. IHT holds covenants on 37 homes and has overseen the resale of several of these properties at below-market rate to qualified households working on MDI.  

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