Affordable Housing for All
I was the senior administrative and financial officer in the Housing and Community Development Department during the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis. I have spent decades on the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund. We have created hundreds of new affordable housing units but more must be done. As Mayor, I will explore the opportunity to provide property tax incentives to neighborhood homeowners of multi-family homes who provide their units at below market rate rents. This is sustainable and it is a win/win for small property owners and renters. Somerville needs to create, preserve and protect affordable housing in order for us to remain a diverse and inclusive community.
As mayor, I will work tirelessly to advance the following policies:
Ensure housing affordability: I will fight to create affordable housing, explore rent stabilization, provide housing for the unhoused, control parking, and address displacement from evictions and market forces with the ultimate goal of ensuring housing stability for all Somerville residents. We must generate new funding sources, Development Incentive Fee from market rate residential, energy efficiency grants, Transfer Fee (www.realestatetransferfee.com).
Create new affordable housing through 20% Inclusionary Zoning and new publicly subsidized affordable housing. Use Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Section 8, the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP). Our goal is to have 15% of total homes in the city be deed-restricted affordable units within 10 years.
Preserve long-standing “naturally occurring affordable housing” (NOAH) stock that is losing its historic affordability as homes get sold and converted to condos. Our goal: 1,000 affordable units preserved in 10 years.
Protect all existing "community-owned" housing: public housing, publicly subsidized housing, non-profit owned housing, affordable housing with deed restrictions that are expiring.
Promote homeownership since it is one of the keys to wealth creation, particularly for families of color, given the existing wealth disparities. Somerville’s existing housing stock of two and three family homes has been a major factor in familial wealth creation for many Somerville families, but it is now increasingly out of reach for most families.