The number of unbridged Maine islands where people live year-round has dwindled to just 15, from a high of about 300 a century ago. Great Cranberry and Little Cranberry islands, just off the coast of Mount Desert Island, are among the 15. Like other island communities, we face the challenges of an aging population, declining school enrollment, an elevated cost of living, and a lack of affordable, year-round housing.
Cranberry Isles Realty Trust (CIRT) was established in 1996 to nurture and sustain a vibrant island community by providing year-round housing opportunities for working families. We accomplish this by offering affordable rental units, helping islanders buy their own home, and giving information and advice when needed. We are exploring other options, such as providing land where people can build their own homes. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of donors to sustain a traditional way of life in the Cranberry Isles.