Every Monday in March, MVYRADIO, in partnership with the Dukes County Health Council (DCHC) and the Coalition to Create the MV Housing Bank (CCMVHB) will host a series of panel discussions concentrating on the housing crisis on Martha’s Vineyard. This series is based upon MVYRADIO’s successful series created in February 2021 called “Lets Do Better: A Racial Equity Conversation Series.” All sessions will be via Zoom with a Q & A to follow.

The lack of affordable housing, and its effects on individuals, the local economy and particular demographic groups, is a long-simmering issue on Martha’s Vineyard, which has been exacerbated by conditions related to the COVID pandemic.  This panel series will speak to local people involved in defining and understanding the issues, as well as representatives from organizations trying to find a path forward.

“As the Vineyard’s local radio station, we know we can be a platform for important community conversations,” said Laurel Redington, MVYRADIO’s Community Outreach Director and moderator of the series.  “Our Island’s housing issue affects every single person who enjoys this community, no matter who we are.  It’s a conversation we need to have.  We’re glad MVYRADIO can bring people together for thoughtful discussion.”

Each conversation will include a 6-person panel.  Scheduled topics include:

MONDAY MARCH 7th: Introduction to the Housing Crisis and The Coalition To Create the MV Housing Bank – Impact on Social Determinants of Health

MONDAY, MARCH 14th: Impact on critical Island Systems – Employment Crisis – Municipal and Private Employment 

MONDAY, MARCH 21st: Impact on Elders and Youth

MONDAY, MARCH 28th: Impact We Can Make – Essential components to solving our Housing crisis

“The Island Housing crisis is a deep-rooted problem and we hope this forum will give people a chance to understand the underpinnings of it, and how we can move forward with comprehensive solutions,” said Dan O’Connell, year-round West Tisbury resident and former Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of MA. “It will take the efforts and understanding of the whole community to address it.”  

Panelists scheduled to appear include Laura Silber and Juliette Fay from The Coalition to Create a MV Housing Bank (CCMVHB), Phillipe Jordi – Founder of Island Housing Trust, Kim Garrison – All-Island Behavioral Health Coordinator and Research Specialist at MVRHS, Graham Houghton – WT School Guidance Counselor, Lisa Belcastro – NAMI MV, Dan O’Connell – former Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of MA, Cindy Trish – ED of Healthy Aging MV, Paddy Moore – Founder of HAMV, Wampanoag Elder Carole Vandal and many others.

The Housing Crisis forum is free, but viewers must sign up to receive the Zoom link at  The sign-up period will open during the last week of February.  An email with a link to the Zoom session will be sent on the morning of each panel.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.