Dozens of Airbnb rentals available on Martha’s Vineyard to house migrants amid ‘housing crisis’

Dozens of rental properties were available over the weekend to house migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard, according to online listings, despite locals’ claims of a “housing crisis” on the exclusive island.

A quick search of Airbnb reveals that at least 45 homes or private rooms were available on the island for a stay for a guest from Friday to Sunday, with rentals on the liberal enclave ranging from $200 to $10,000 per night .

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ferried 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, throwing the island into chaos and infuriating many locals who said their arrival sparked a “humanitarian crisis”.

On Friday morning, the National Guard was called in and the new arrivals were flown to the mainland and taken to Joint Base Cape Cod.

Fifty migrants, mostly from Venezuela, were shipped to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Boston Globe via Getty Images
A woman, part of a group of immigrants who had just arrived, holds a child as they are fed outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church,
Islanders have come together to help support the migrants until they find suitable accommodation.
PA

On the island, migrants have been housed in Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s “Ag Hall”, but the facility has no beds or showers. Feeding the migrants has also posed a problem for the islanders.

Martha’s Vineyard homeless shelter coordinator Lisa Belcastro told local news on Thursday that the migrants will have to be moved elsewhere, saying the island simply doesn’t have the infrastructure to support them.

“At some point they have to move from here to another place,” Belcastro said. “We can’t, we don’t have the services to support 50 immigrants.”

“We are in a housing crisis like we are on this island,” Belcastro said. “So we can’t, we can’t house everyone who lives here and works here.”

An “urgent” GoFundMe campaign for Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation raised $43,000 to help migrants – who spent less than two days on the island.

“All funds raised have gone directly to the MV Community Foundation, to be distributed to organizations most in need,” the campaign organizer said in an update Friday afternoon after the migrants were sent back.

The island is a renowned vacation destination for the rich and famous, including former President Barack Obama who bought a massive $11.75 million vacation home there in 2019. Oprah Winfrey and Larry David also own properties. properties on the island.

Overview of the house on Martha's Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard is an exclusive island, known as a vacation destination for the wealthy.
Robert Miller
Migrants gathered in a room in Martha's Vineyard.
The sudden influx of migrants has overwhelmed the small island of Massachusetts.
Twitter / @RepDylan

Islanders have pointed the finger at deep-pocketed neighbors for not opening their doors to their off-season vacation estates to help with what the Martha’s Vineyard tourist board described as a ‘humanitarian crisis’.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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