Sustainable communities

To the Editor:

Ted Koffman’s recent op-ed on these pages highlighted the need for affordable housing for people who work on Mount Desert Island and want to live here as active community members. A number of forces beyond local control have led to the high land costs that make housing relatively more expensive here on our island.

The Island Housing Trust uses the generosity of its donors to bridge the gap between what workers who qualify for a mortgage can pay and what land and housing cost. Young people whose families already own land here may be able to continue to live here, but our small communities are also invigorated by others who choose to live, work and serve here.

This island has many nonprofit institutions that support the quality of life here and provide important services to year-round residents. If we value the sustainability of our island communities, we must all be prepared to support the effort to make housing affordable for workers in whatever ways we are able.

The work the Island Housing Trust is doing is as important as that of our other major nonprofits. If you are making year-end contributions, please consider it. You can designate your contribution for use in a particular town, for the Home Ownership Assistance Program (financially efficient gap-financing) or for the construction of new housing. Find out more about IHT and how you can help at

If we want our towns to be sustainable, we must be both generous and ingenious in finding ways to support workforce housing on MDI.

Lydia Goetze

Southwest Harbor

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