Employee photo from a few years back. We can’t all fit in the frame anymore!

Dear 2018 Employees,

For the last 100 years or more, summer workers on Martha’s Vineyard have been looking for places to stay which are clean, safe and affordable on the wages of their summer jobs.

For a worker making our starting wage of $11.50 an hour, an “affordable” housing allowance of 30% is about $150 a week. Naturally it would be desirable to pay less and our farm housing does give a good advantage at $100.

With a limit of 25 residents, though, the Barn and the Bunkhouse cannot house all the employees who wish to live on-farm. We allocate housing spaces in a manner to create a balance of various types of workers, and the most favorable influence of work and living harmony. 

We have one place where we can allow two people to camp, but our farm is small and there are legal limitations that make any more camping unworkable. We ask for $35 a week per camper, as they are expected to share kitchen and bathrooms in the farm housing.

Many of you will need to find places in the community. There are rooms to rent and houses to share around the Island and our workers have been finding them for years, but there is no straight answer as to how. Many of the rooms for rent are in private homes, and people don’t like to advertise. Each one has its own story and you need to make calls, follow leads and listen to possibilities. A lot of housing is found by word of mouth. You may have to come to the Island and just meet people and network.

We hired you with the expectation that you will do what you need to do to find your housing. There are people who were turned away because you got the job and they didn’t. If you don’t find housing, we are left with an empty position and the people who were turned away have probably gotten something else. Please do your best to follow through and do a diligent search. Here are some starting places:

  • The HI Martha’s Vineyard Hostel accommodates guests for up to seven nights, subject to availability.
  • The Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground has daily and weekly site rentals from May 17 to Oct. 10, 2018.
  • The Chamber Of Commerce has a housing list where some landlords post rooms when available.
  • You can also place an ad in the Housing Wanted section of our local newspapers, the Martha’s Vineyard Times and Vineyard Gazette.
  • Craigslist may have some summer housing posted; exercise caution when responding, as this website is based off-Island.
  • Local real estate offices may have some leads, but they tend to cater to summer vacation renters rather than workers.
  • One of our employees suggests calling other farms on the island to see if they will rent a room in exchange for a few hours of work.
  • You may ask us to help you check out leads. In some cases we know the people, or have worked with them before.

We hope you have luck in finding your accommodations for this summer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks — Jim Athearn, Hiring Coordinator