Dozens of rental properties were available this weekend to house migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard, online listings show, despite claims from locals of a “housing crisis” on the exclusive island.
A quick search on Airbnb reveals at least 45 homes or private rooms were available on the island for a stay for one guest from Friday to Sunday, with rentals on the liberal enclave fetching between $200 and as much as $10,000 per night.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard’s on Wednesday — throwing the island into chaos and infuriating many locals who claimed their arrivals set off a “humanitarian crisis.”
By Friday morning, the National Guard was called in and the newcomers were ferried to the mainland and taken to Joint Base Cape Cod.
On the island, the migrants had been housed in the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s “Ag Hall,” however the facility has no beds or showers. Feeding the migrants has also posed an issue for 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 in time they have to move from here to somewhere else,” Belcastro said. “We cannot, we do not, have the services to take care of 50 immigrants.”
“We’re in a housing crisis as we are on this island,” Belcastro said. “So we don’t, we can’t, house everyone here that lives here and works here.”
The island is a renowned vacation destination for the rich and famous, including former President Barack Obama who purchased a massive $11.75 million vacation home there in 2019. Oprah Winfrey and Larry David also own properties on the island.
Islanders have been pointing fingers at their deep-pocketed neighbors for not opening their doors to their vacation estates in the off-season to assist in what the Martha’s Vineyard tourism board described as a “humanitarian crisis.”