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Fair Housing Commission

fair housingThe Somerville Fair Housing Commission is composed of five City residents appointed by the mayor for three-year terms. Members must include a City or Housing Authority employee, a representative of a nonprofit community based organization, a local realtor or lender, a low or moderate income tenant, and a person with substantial civil rights experience).

The Commission was established by City ordinance in 1985. Its powers and duties include:

  • Receiving complaints about possible fair housing violations and providing information and assistance, including referrals to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services.
  • Undertaking activities to increasing the understanding of tenants, homeowners, landlords, realtors and lenders of their rights and responsibilities under state and federal fair housing laws. These activities include developing educational materials and conducting trainings and community outreach.
  • Undertaking activities that promote goodwill and minimize discrimination in housing, including sponsoring an annual fair housing poster contest in the elementary schools and conducting studies and research.

The Commission generally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Central Library conference room, 79 Highland Avenue, but please call for exact date and time.