About the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund (SAHTF) was created in 1989 by a City ordinance to preserve and create affordable rental and homeownership units in Somerville, and to carry out programs to directly assist homeowners and renters. All of its activities must benefit low to moderate income households (with incomes at or below 110% of area median income).


Alert: Transfer Fee Home Rule Petition

The City has proposed a fee of approximately 1% on certain real estate transactions to support affordable housing. More information can be found at somervillema.gov/TransferFee.


Linkage Fees and Revenue

All linkage fees from commercial development in Somerville go to the Trust, as do fractional payments made pursuant to the City's Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. The Trust also receives revenues from the repayment of Trust-funded loans to affordable housing developers, first-time homebuyers or other loans. To date, it has received $1.5 million in resources.

  • Funding & Opportunities

  • Members

  • Meetings, Agendas, and Minutes

  • Forms & Information

FY18 Community Preservation Act Affordable Housing Funding Applications Now Available

(Deadline May 23, 2018)

The Somerville Affordable Housing Trust (SAHT) is beginning its annual process of local distribution of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. This year’s City of Somerville CPA Community Housing dollars are available through two competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) processes to provide funding for:

  1. The creationacquisition, or preservation of affordable rental or home-ownership units in Somerville by developers of affordable housing.
  2. The support of affordable housing in Somerville by housing program providers (rental assistance programs, etc.).

The SAHT is releasing two RFPs on April 19, 2018. Approximately $1,200,402 in FY18 CPA funds will be designated for Somerville community housing projects and programs. The submission deadline for housing program proposals is 10 a.m. on May 23, 2018. The submission deadline for development projects with affordable units is 10 a.m. on May 24, 2018.

More information about eligible uses and funding priorities is available in pages 1-2 of each of the RFPs below:

If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Burbidge, Housing Programs Coordinator, City of Somerville, (617) 625-6600 x2587 or by email at [email protected].

Previous Funding Decisions

Currently, all funding decisions are included in the AHTF's meeting minutes, which can be found online here. The City will be posting annual reports here in the future.

  • Mary Cassesso, Managing Trustee
  • Lisa Davidson
  • Michael Feloney
  • Donna Haynes
  • Beth Howe
  • Daniel LeBlanc, Clerk
  • Ben Ewen-Campen, Alderman
  • Martin Polignone
  • Andrea Shapiro, Assistant Managing Trustee

Mary Cassesso

A Trustee since 1989, Mary serves as Managing Trustee and as a Somerville resident representative.

Mary Cassesso is the Chief Community Officer and President of the CHA (Cambridge Health Alliance) Foundation, which works to address the critical social determinants of health, including housing. She previously served as an Assistant Secretary of Administration and Finance in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Other roles in which Mary has served include working in senior roles in the Commonwealth’s Housing division and for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and as Dean of Administration and Finance at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She has an M.A. in Public Administration and a B.A. from Northeastern University, and is a lifelong Somerville resident.

Lisa Davidson

A Trustee since 2014, Lisa serves as a representative from a Somerville non-profit organization.

Lisa Davidson is the Director of Housing Services at the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC), where she began her work as a case manager in 1999. Lisa supervises the daily operations of programs for homeless and disabled individuals and families, including young adults in recovery. She is responsible for negotiating with property owners regarding rent, and for delivery of HUD-assisted programs providing rent assistance and supportive services to Somerville residents who are at risk of homelessness or currently homeless. Lisa also fulfills the duties of the SHC’s position of Homeless Management Information Systems Lead for the Somerville-Arlington Continuum of Care. Lisa grew up in Somerville and lived in the City until relocating due to the high cost of housing.

Ben Ewen-Campen

A Trustee since January, 2018, Ben serves as the designee of the President of the Board of Aldermen.

Ben Ewen-Campen serves as Somerville’s Ward 3 Alderman. As the chair of the BOA’s Housing and Community Development Committee, Ben serves as the BOA representative on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Ben attributes his strong commitment to working for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Somerville to his family and growing up in the Cambridge-Somerville area. In addition to serving as Alderman, Ben has a PhD in biology and currently works as a postdoc in the Genetics Department at the Harvard Medical School.

Donna Haynes

A Trustee since 2002, Donna serves as a representative from the banking and finance industry.

Donna Haynes has worked in financial services as a banker for almost 30 years, working for over 20 years in Somerville. She most recently worked as the Vice President and Community Reinvestment Officer for Central Cooperative Bank in Davis Square. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council, as Treasurer for the YWCA Malden, and as a Board Director for the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston.

Danny LeBlanc

A Trustee since 2001, Danny serves as a representative from a Somerville non-profit organization.

Danny LeBlanc is Chief Executive Officer at Somerville Community Corporation. His work in community organizing, community development and nonprofit management goes back over 30 years and includes work for Somerville United Neighborhoods, Mass. Fair Share, North Shore Community Action Programs and Merrimack Valley Project. Danny serves on the boards of Metro North Regional Employment Board, the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, and Tisch College at Tufts University. He moved to Somerville in 1977 after earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Beth Monroe-Howe

A Trustee since 2004, Beth serves as the designee of the Director of the Somerville Housing Authority.

Beth Monroe-Howe is the Resident Services Supervisor at Somerville Housing Authority (SHA). She has worked at SHA since 2000, starting as a Section 8 Coordinator before taking on her current position in which she assists resident family and seniors with applications for SNAP, Social Security, MASS Health, Medicare, and a government-sponsored lifeline cell phone program. Beth also coordinates services and programs on health, welfare, rental assistance programs and other benefits. She grew up in Somerville and lived in the City until moving in the last two years.

Martin Polignone

A Trustee since 2016, Martin serves as a Somerville resident representative.

Martin Polignone is a longtime Cobble Hill resident and advocate for the elderly and disabled. He is a double graduate of Boston College with a BA and Master’s of Administrative Science. After owning a small technology business, Martin earned his law degree and provided services as a mediator in Somerville District Court. He currently works on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Elder Hotline and is a member of the Ward One Democratic Committee. Martin also served in the US Coast Guard Auxillary as a staff officer.

Andrea Shapiro

A Trustee since 2004, Andrea serves as the Assistant Managing Trustee and housing and real estate specialist.

As founder and principal of Andrea Shapiro Consulting, Andrea consults with nonprofit and government clients on management and operational issues as well as affordable housing and community development strategies. Prior to founding Andrea Shapiro Consulting, Andrea served in senior level housing positions in both city and state government, following seven years at Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association. Andrea has an MBA from Boston University with a finance and real estate focus and an AB cum laude from Smith College. Andrea is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Second Chances, a nonprofit organization that provides free clothing to homeless and very low-income people in Cambridge and Somerville. She has lived in Somerville since 1994 and the Boston area her entire life.

Michael Feloney

A Trustee since 2014, Mike serves as the Mayor’s designee.

Mike Feloney is the Housing Director of the City of Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development. As Director of the Housing Division, Mike works with city departments and community, state and federal agencies to implement local housing policies and programs that increase production and support of affordable housing in Somerville. Mike has over 25 years’ experience managing housing and community development initiatives that include complex residential projects in the nonprofit, private and public sectors. He grew up in the Cambridge-Somerville area, and has a B.A. from Harvard College and a Master’s degree in City Planning from MIT.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund generally meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:15 p.m. in the 3rd floor conference room of Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Ave.).

Check back soon for more Affordable Housing Trust Fund Meetings.