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The planning department proposed some changes to our proposal. Here’s our response to those changes:

*         AHOC continues to support an inclusionary zoning requirement of 20% for all developments with six or more units citywide, with the idea that a developer can seek parking relief and/or a density bonus if necessary to ensure financial viability.  However, if the Board of Aldermen chooses to designate a lower inclusionary requirement for smaller developments, we would urge the following:6-12 units:  15%13 units and above:  20% 

We chose this breakdown because reducing the inclusionary requirement from 20% to 15% for developments of 6-12 units would mostly not affect the total number of affordable units developed. It would lessen or eliminate those developers’ obligation to make a cash payment where the IZ requirement works out to less than .5 of a unit. Starting at 13 units, reducing the inclusionary requirement from 20% to 15% would reduce the affordable housing contribution by a full unit. (see chart)

Size of projectAffordable units with 15% IZAffordable units with 20% IZ
6 units1 unit1.2 rounded to 1
7 units1.05 rounded to 11.4 rounded to 1
8 units1.2 rounded to 11.6 rounded to 2
9 units1.35 rounded to 11.8 rounded to 2
10 units1.5 rounded to 22 units
11 units1.65 rounded to 22.2 rounded to 2
12 units1.8 rounded to 22.4 rounded to 2
13 units1.95 rounded to 22.6 rounded to 3

We would consider this a reasonable compromise, if the aldermen determine it is necessary in order to achieve passage of a 20% requirement for developments of 13 or more units.

*         One of the goals of our proposal is to substantially increase the amount of affordable units created for all income tiers: low-, moderate-, and middle-income. 1 out of every 6 inclusionary units should be allocated to the middle-income tier for rental projects, with the other units distributed between the low- and moderate-income tiers.

*         AHOC does not support exempting the future Assembly Row housing development from the new 20% rate, since it has the potential to provide a large number of affordable housing units.

Learn the story of SCC - watch the mini documentary:

Members of the community in Somerville, MA come together for an illuminated walk to bring attention to gentrification and housing affordability in East Somerville. Produced in collaboration with the Somerville Community Corporation and Mister Francis. Written, directed, and edited by Andrew Eldridge. Produced by Elizabeth Eldridge, Andrew Eldridge.

For tenants of the 100 Homes program, if you are in need of an urgent repair please call 1-617-410-9915. For life-threatening or other emergencies please call 911.

Somerville sits on the original homelands of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, Naumkeag, and Nipmuc tribal nations. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we live and work.

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