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: A Position Will Open Soon as Trustee on the Affordable Housing Trust 

The City of Somerville will soon open an application process for an opening on the Affordable Housing Trust. The open position is to be filled by a representative of a non-profit organization whose primary mission is affordable housing . The position description and application instructions will be posted on the City website along with openings on other City Boards and Commissions soon. Sign up for City eNews updates to be notified when the application process opens.


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

FY19 Community Preservation Act Affordable Housing and Tenancy Stabilization Program Funding Applications

January 17, 2019

Between January 22 and March 5, 2019 the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund will accept proposals for Community Preservation Act funds in two categories: rental assistance programs or development projects creating affordable housing units. The Trust will also accept proposals for an entity to administer the Trust’s Tenancy Stabilization Program. RFPs will be posted here starting January 22, 2019. Proposal submission deadline is March 5, 2019.

The Somerville Affordable Housing Trust invites local residents, organizations, and businesses to submit applications for the funding of eligible affordable housing projects or programs in Somerville through its annual distribution of Community Preservation Act (CPA) and Tenancy Stabilization Program (TSP) funds. A total of $1,402,986 in fiscal year 2019 CPA and TSP funds have been designated by the Trust and the Community Preservation Committee for allocation by the Trust to benefit residents of Somerville. These funds are available through three competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) processes to provide funding for the following eligible uses:

  1. One RFP is for the creation, acquisition or preservation of affordable rental or home-ownership units in Somerville by developers of affordable housing. (Download RFP)
  2. One RFPs is for the support of affordable housing in Somerville with funding for housing programs that provide rental assistance to households and individuals that reside here. (Download RFP)
  3. One RFP is to operate the Trust’s Tenancy Stabilization Program in particular, which provides up to $3,000 in grant funds to eligible households and individuals living in Somerville who are in need of money for first and last month’s rental payments, security deposits and rental arrears in order to help with the stabilization of their housing situations. (Download RFP)

The submission deadline for proposals is Tuesday, March 5, at 10 a.m. 

The RFP documents are available for download (above) starting January 22nd. More information about eligible uses and funding priorities is available in pages 1-2 of each of the RFPs.

Questions about these RFPs can be directed to 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.

  • Mary Cassesso, Managing Trustee
  • Ben Ewen-Campen, Alderman
  • Michael Feloney
  • Kathryn Gallant
  • Donna Haynes
  • Andrea Shapiro, Assistant Managing Trustee
  • Brielle Short
  • Jessica Turner

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.

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.

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.

Kathryn Gallant

A Trustee since 2018, Katie serves as designee of the Director of the Somerville Housing Authority.

Katie is Senior Housing Manager at the Somerville Housing Authority (SHA) where she oversees management of SHA’s multiple housing complexes encompassing all SHA units, including SHA’s tax-credit funded developments. Her role at SHA includes financial reporting, housing regulatory compliance, tenancy administration, employee management and partnerships with community organizations. Her previous professional experience comprises grants management, housing counseling, community relations and other housing-related responsibilities. She studied public administration and housing management at the University of Massachusetts and Gibbs College.

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.

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.

Brielle Short

A Trustee since 2019, Brielle serves as a representative of a Somerville non-profit organization whose primary mission is affordable housing.

Brielle Short is the Supportive Housing Program Manager at the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC). Brielle supervises daily operations of housing programs that provide supportive case management services to formerly homeless, disabled individuals and families. SHC's housing programs strive to provide the assistance and resources necessary to stabilize tenancy of clients and prevent them from returning to homelessness. Brielle actively engages with Somerville landlords in order to maintain and acquire units at an affordable rate, resulting in homeless individuals and families being able to be housed in their community.

Jessica Turner

A Trustee since 2019, Jessica serves as a low-income tenant representative who lives in Somerville.

Jessica Turner is a student Quincy College working towards a degree in disciplines related to Criminal Justice, Law and Sociology. She is Co-President of Clarendon Residents United, serves on the board of the Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants (MAHT) and is a member of the SomerVision2040 Committee. Her advocacy work for affordable housing, fair policy and the rights of those who are poor includes activities at the local, state and national level, from hearings and campaigns for Somerville-based issues to lobbying federal representatives in Washington D.C. 

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.). Please check the City Calendar for changes in regular meeting time or location.