Own a property on Nantucket?

Earn up to $27,000 by converting your property into a new
year-round rental for local working families and individuals

What is Lease to Locals?

ACKNow Community Initiatives
, a new 501c3 charitable organization focused on identifying and implementing innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for Nantucket’s year-round community, has announced Lease to Locals, a privately funded program designed to help address the lack of housing options for year-round residents.

Housing is Nantucket’s most urgent problem. The hospital, schools, local government, essential services, and other local businesses all struggle to attract and retain workers. According to the US Census Bureau the inventory of year-round rentals on Nantucket has decreased by one-third (nearly 600 units) in the last decade.

The Lease to Locals program provides financial incentives to property owners for converting housing units, including those currently operating as short-term rentals, into year-round rentals for residents who work on Nantucket for local organizations and businesses.

                                           *EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 2024 THE LEASE TO LOCALS PROGRAM IS ON PAUSE*

The Lease to Locals Pilot Program has been an overwhelming success and has allocated over $400,000 in funds for incentives, and at this time we have reserved all of the funding.

Interested property owners are encouraged to fill out the form below to be added to the waitlist. The more property owners who share their interest in participating in this program the better we can show the need and secure additional funding for the Lease to Locals program.

Results to Date*

New units unlocked
People housed
*Data as of July 1, 2024

How the Program Works


Verify property qualifies

Properties must be located on Nantucket, and must not already have been rented year-round in the past 12 months.


Secure Tenants

A Qualified Households must have at least 50% of the adults working at least 30 hours a week on Nantucket, or who has recently been hired by an employer based in or with a physical location on the Island. 


Sign a Lease

Property Owners must sign a long-term (12+ month) lease with a Qualified Household. The Property Owner cannot charge monthly rent that exceeds $5,000/month, and Qualified Tenants can not be of blood relation or employed by the Property Owner.


Complete full application

Placemate will provide property owners an online application which needs to be completed before the incentive can be disbursed. The funds will be paid in two equal installments — one at the beginning of the lease, and one at the end of the lease.



The applicant must comply with midway and final lease checks to ensure they are in compliance. If they are found out of compliance, they may be disqualified from receiving additional incentive payments.

Incentive Amounts For Homeowners

Unit Size Incentive Per
Qualified Tenant*
Max. Incentive
Per Unit
Private Room
1 Bedroom
2 Bedrooms or Greater

* Dependent children will count as one (1) additional Qualified Tenant, regardless of the number of children present.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Lease to Locals Program (the “Program”), offers cash incentives to homeowners who rent their homes to qualified households. The goal of the program is to increase the supply of year-round housing available for locals and full employees working on Nantucket. The Program is a one-year pilot that starts on Sept 1, 2023. Full program can be found here.

Eligible Properties must meet the following requirements:

  • Housing Unit: A housing unit is a house (primary or secondary dwelling), an accessory dwelling unit, a single room or multiple single rooms intended for occupancy living quarters (excluding commercial lodging). Excludes deed-restricted and subsidized units.
  • Location: The Housing Unit must be located in the County of Nantucket, MA.
  • Type: A whole home or room(s) in a home can be rented, but there is a maximum of two (2) grants per property.
  • Status: The Housing Unit must be a legally permitted dwelling unit and each bedroom in the property must have a door and window.
  • New Rental: The Housing Unit must not have already been occupied as an existing year-round rental in the past 12 months. 
  • Property Condition: The Housing Unit must meet basic health and safety criteria as may be required per Massachusetts law and regulations 
  • Property Owner: The individual(s) or legal entity that holds the deed to the property, as reflected on the Assessor or Registry of Deed records.  
  • Signed Lease Agreement and Complete Application Packet: The Property Owner must complete an application and sign a Long-Term Lease with a Qualified Household. The complete application packet must be submitted within 45 days of the start of the lease. 
  • Lease Compliance Checks: The Property Owner must comply with the lease agreement for the full length of the lease and will be checked for compliance by Placemate, Inc., at six (6) months in the lease. Failure to comply with the lease requirements at any time shall disqualify the Property Owner for grant payments.
  • Rental Affordability Cap: The Property Owner cannot charge monthly rent that exceeds $5,000/month. Suggested rental rates $1,000 to $1,500 per bedroom per month.
  • Fair Housing Act Compliance: The Property Owner must comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

A Qualified Household is any group of individuals living together in one home as their primary residence, where at least half of the adults are Qualified Tenants. A Qualified Tenant is an adult who is not of blood relation to the Property Owner and who meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Employed year-round at least 30 hours per week (over 1,500 hours per year) for an employer based in Nantucket or with a physical location in Nantucket. Exceptions to the 1,500 hours per year requirements can be made for education providers.
  • Meet one of the following exemptions:
    • A person unable to work or who does not have a work history due to qualifying for disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • A full-time, single parent or guardian of a child under the age of 4
      A full-time, informal caregiver of a child or an adult with a disability if either caregiver or care-recipient lived in Nantucket for at least the five previous continuous years. A caregiver is defined as a person who resides with a person(s) with disabilities who is:
      • essential to the care and well being of the person(s);
      • not obligated to support the person(s) with the disabilities; and
      • would not be living in the unit except to provide the necessary supportive services.

First create a renter profile with Placemate. Once we have that information on file we can send you prospective properties that fit your criteria.

Prior to disbursing grants, ACKNow CI will review documentation submitted by Placemate, Inc. including a copy of the fully executed lease agreement(s), Proof of status for Qualifying Tenants, and Property Owner Application.

ACKNow CI will issue the first half of the grant payment to the Property Owner within forty five (45) days of the Qualified Household taking occupancy of the Housing Unit.

ACKNow CI will issue the second half of the grant payment to the Property Owner within forty five (45) days of the end of the lease. Payments shall be issued to the Property Owner as their legal name(s) appear on recorded property ownership documents.

Please fill out this form to be added to the Lease to Locals property owner waitlist.

Interested property owners are encouraged to fill out the form below to be added to the waitlist. The more property owners who share their interest in participating in this program the better we can show the need and secure additional funding for the Lease to Locals program.

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