Ithzel Polanco
Inclusionary Housing Specialist

Hours

Monday - Wednesday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday
8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Friday
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Phone

(617) 625-6600  ext 2586

Email

ipcabadas@somervillema.gov
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Affordable Housing Opportunities in Somerville

The City of Somerville works with private and nonprofit developers to create affordable housing opportunities for renters and homebuyers. Click on the tabs below to learn about affordable housing and other programs for income-eligible residents.

You can also search for affordable rentals and home ownership opportunities using the MassAccess website.

The Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund helps preserve and create affordable rentals and homes in Somerville. All projects and programs benefit low to moderate income families that are at or below 110% of the area median income. The Trust makes it possible to offer many of the rental and homeownership opportunities you’ll find on this page. You can learn more about the Trust Fund here

  • Inclusionary Affordable Homeownership Program

  • Opportunities for First-Time Buyers

  • Opportunities for Renters

Our Inclusionary Affordable Homeownership Program provides opportunities for first-time homebuyers based on income. Sign up here to get alerts whenever affordable housing units become available. To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer
  • Intend to use the unit as your primary residence
  • Be a “ready buyer” and get a mortgage pre-approval
  • Agree to follow any Deed Restrictions on the unit
  • Have a certificate from an MHC Homebuyer Class by the closing date. If you haven’t taken the class yet, you can see a list of upcoming classes here.

Deed Restrictions

Affordable housing units have some important resale/equity restrictions. A few of them are listed below. We’ll give the winner a full copy of the restrictions during the Purchase and Sale process. You can also request a copy by calling us at (617) 625-2577 x2577.

  • The unit may have a Deed Restriction that limits equity and has some rules for reselling the home. We’ll need to reassess the home’s value if you decide to sell it in the future.
  • You’ll need to keep the home as your primary residence, but you have the option to sell it at any time. We perform residency certifications once a year.
  • Once we’ve certified that you are income-eligible, we won’t need to perform any additional income verifications.

Lottery Drawing and Process

We use a lottery to choose the winner, who will then be able to buy the home from its current owner. Here’s how it works:

  • We’ll draw each name and assign it an appropriate number.
  • The first name we draw is the winner and will have one week to certify their income with the Housing Division.
  • Once certified, the winner will enter the Purchase and Sale Agreement with the current home owner.
  • The owner and buyer will agree on a closing date that’s convenient for both parties.
     

Two Income-Restricted Condos Offered to Eligible First-Time Homebuyers via Application and Lottery Process

Mayor Curtatone and DG/ Realty Development are pleased to announce two (2) income-restricted condos will be offered to eligible first-time homebuyers through the Inclusionary Housing Program via an application and lottery process. See our i

Unit 203 - 2 Bed / 2 Bath at 80% Area Median Income (AMI) for $180,137

Unit 303 - 2 Bed / 2 Bath at 110% AMI for $268,824

The Flatiron @ Union Square - 70 Prospect St, Somerville

Maximum annual gross income limit: 

  • 80% AMI: 2 people $62,550 / 3 people $70,350 / 4 people $78,150
  • 110% AMI: 2 people $86,328 / 3 people $97,119 / 4 people $107,910

Minimum Household Size: 2 Persons

Asset Limit: $250,000 excluding retirement accounts

Other eligibility requirements:

  • Units must be buyer’s primary residence and will be subject to annual monitoring
  • Units subject to Affordable Housing Restriction in perpetuity
  • Applicants must have a first-time homebuyers certificate or be enrolled in a course
  • Head of households claiming full-time student status are not eligible

Information Sessions:

No. 1 Thursday, Nov. 2nd 2017 6-7:30 PM
In the Cafeteria of the John F Kennedy Elementary School
5 Cherry St. Somerville, MA 02144

No. 2 Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 10-11:30 AM
In the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall
93 Highland Ave Somerville, MA 02143

Application deadline: Friday, January 5th, 2018 10:00 am @ City Hall Annex - 50 Evergreen Avenue, Somerville, MA 02145 (Only complete applications will be included in lottery)

Lottery: Friday, January 19th 2018

The application and additional information are available in this Information Package.

For more information please contact Ithzel Polanco at ipcabadas@somervillema.gov  / 617-625-6600 x2586 or Seamus Lynch at slynch@somervillema.gov / x2588

 


Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

The Housing Division and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund offer three programs to help first-time homebuyers in the City. Each program has different rules and benefits. You must be a first-time homebuyer with an eligible income to qualify. We give preference to current residents, though anyone is welcome to apply. The three programs are:

  • Closing Cost 80 Program: We’ll provide closing cost assistance up to $5,000 as a 0% interest, five-year forgivable loan. 
  • Down Payment Assistance 80 Program: We’ll provide down payment assistance up to 15% of the purchase price as a 0% interest, deferred payment loan.
  • Closing Cost/Down Payment Assistance 110 Program: We’ll provide up to $5,000 in down payment assistance or closing costs as a 0% interest, five-year forgivable loan.

To learn more about eligibility and income limits, click here.

First-Time Homebuyer Education

There are several programs to help you learn about the home buying process. They’ll teach you how to deal with credit issues, work with a Realtor, apply for a mortgage, and more. The organizations below offer these First-Time Homebuyer classes:

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Street Realty Inc. Announce 56 Affordable Rental Unit Opportunities to Low/Moderate Income-Eligible Households

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Street Realty Inc. are pleased to announce 56 rental units will be offered to low/moderate income eligible households through the city’s Inclusionary Housing program via an application and lottery process.

The property is located at: 

Montaje, Assembly Row
449 Canal Street
Somerville, MA 02145

The first units will be ready for occupancy in early 2018. www.s-e-b.com/property/montaje/

There will be two information sessions. You are encouraged to attend one of them. The first will be:

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017
Auditorium of the East Somerville Community School
50 Cross St.
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

And the second information session will be: 

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017
Auditorium of the East Somerville Community School
50 Cross St.
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Applications will be made available at the conclusion of the first information session. After September 13th,  you may obtain an application at this link: www.s-e-b.com/property/montaje/

The application will also be available at City Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen Ave., 2nd Floor, and all branches of the public libraries.


Tenant Rent Stabilization Program

We work with the Somerville Homeless Coalition to help residents who are at risk of becoming homeless due to unpaid rent or utilities. We can also help with moving costs, security deposits, and other start-up costs. Our goal is to keep Somerville families stable by helping them stay in their current homes or find attainable housing. To apply, call the Somerville Homeless Coalition at (617) 623-6111.

Section 8 Rentals

Section 8 is a federal program that helps very low-income families find clean and safe private apartment rentals. The assistance is given on behalf of the individual so that participants can rent privately-owned housing. This can include single-family housing, apartments, townhouses, and condos. The Somerville Housing Authority administers the Section 8 program. You can learn more here.

Housing for People With Disabilities

Under federal law, housing providers must not discriminate against people with disabilities. They must also make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. These laws apply regardless of whether the housing is public or private. For more information, contact us at (617) 625-6600 x2577.

Utility Assistance and Energy Efficiency

Also known as Fuel Assistance, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a state-run program to help families pay for winter heating bills. Eligible households may qualify to have a portion of their heating bills paid by the state. They’ll also receive a discounted rate on their utility bills. To see if you’re eligible, contact the City of Cambridge Department of Human Services at (617) 349-6252.

Weatherization Assistance Program

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) offers insulation and repairs to help families stay warm and conserve fuel in the winter. If you qualify for fuel assistance, you’ll also qualify for the WAP. For more information, call (978) 459-6161.

Resource Guide for Homeless People and Very Low-Income Families

This guide is an extensive list of resources for homeless people and those who are at risk for becoming homeless. You’ll find contact information for local shelters, transitional housing, food services, emergency funding, and more. You can read the guide here

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