SCC’s advocacy for safe, healthy, affordable homes has never been more critical. For a community to be sustainable, there must be housing options available to people of all income levels. In order to keep Somerville economically diverse, SCC builds affordable rental housing, creates homeownership opportunities, and purchases homes off the speculative market making them permanently affordable.
SCC owns and operates over 340 units of rental housing and more than 9,000 square feet of commercial space comprising four commercial units, which are leased to a healthcare clinic, dentist, daycare center and variety store.
The 340 units were developed with Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity (six properties) and various combinations of affordable housing financing from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Somerville’s Affordable Housing Trust and Community Preservation Act Funds and federal resources such as McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, and Home Investment Partnership program funds.
Some of our properties serve previously homeless families and individuals, and some set aside units for people with permanent physical or mental impairments.
Since 2016, the 100 Homes Initiative (along with the subsequent 49 More Homes Initiative) has continued its success and now includes a total of 117 units in 20 buildings across the City. Unique in New England, the initiative directly addresses the problem of the escalating Somerville housing market in which residential properties are routinely purchased by investors and “cash buyers,” causing the displacement of long-time Somerville residents. By pulling these properties off the market we can preserve existing housing units as affordable in perpetuity and protect the tenancies of many Somerville residents, including many immigrant families who may not have applied or qualified for typical affordable housing programs. We are then also able to create better engagement with local residents and connect them to the other organizing, job training, and asset building services that SCC has to offer. Mayor Curtatone recently said he hopes it will one day be the 1000 Homes Program!
Why Do We Need Affordable Housing?
The lack of affordable housing is a widely acknowledged problem in Somerville. Housing costs continue to rise, developers continue to buy, and the City is becoming out of reach for many people – newcomers and long term residents alike. Without affordable options, these families are forced to leave Somerville and with that loss, the City becomes less vibrant and diverse.
What Is Affordable Housing?
SCC strives to provide high quality, healthy housing options for people of low- and moderate-income. We use traditional bank financing, government subsidies, and grants to sell or rent units for less than it costs to build them. SCC creates housing for families earning anywhere from less than 30% to 110% of the Area Median Income, as well as families and individuals on the priority waitlist who may be facing homelessness.