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 homeownership 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

  • Income-Restricted Units Coming Soon

  • Inclusionary Affordable Homeownership Program

  • Opportunities for First-Time Buyers

  • Opportunities for Renters

  • Past Opportunities

Fifteen (15) homeownership units at Alloy in Assembly Row will be available within the next few months.  If you haven’t already signed up to receive notifications, you can add your email or mailing address to the Inclusionary Housing Listserv by clicking below and you will be notified with more information on these units as soon as we have it.  In the meantime, if you have not already taken a first-time homebuyers class make sure to do so as you will be required to submit a valid first-time homebuyers certificate or verification of enrollment in a course, which will end prior to the anticipated closing date, with your complete application before the deadline.  Check the links below for approved first-time homebuyer courses.

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:

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.
     

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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:

Homeownership Guide

We’ve organized a list of resources for new and current homeowners. The guide includes information about loans for remodeling your house, improving energy efficiency, removing lead, and other resources. You’ll also find important information about zoning laws and permits. Click here to read the guide and learn more about your next steps as a new homeowner!

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

A 2BR income-restricted unit is currently available for purchase to first-time homebuyers with incomes at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI) please see Annual Gross Income Limits table below as the limit is adjusted by household size. This two bedroom two bath is located at 135 Willow Avenue. The purchase price is $188,197 plus a monthly condo fee of $170.02. If you are interested in purchasing this resale available through Team Jen and Lynn at Thalia Tringo & Associates Real Estate, they can be reached at [email protected]or 617-616-5091.

Please note: Offers with complete applications including a first-time homebuyers certificate or verification of enrollment in a course which will end by July 2018 and a mortgage pre-approval letter for a 30 year fixed mortgage including an interest rate/range are due by Wednesday, May 17th at 11 AM to Team Jen and Lynn.

Important Resources

Inclusionary Housing Programs Income Limits

2017 PMSA Boston, MA Area Median Income Limits

No. of persons

80% AMI

1

Ineligible for 2BR

2

$62,550

3

$70,350

4

$78,150

5

$84,450

 

A 1BR inclusionary homeownership unit is currently available for purchase to first-time homebuyers with incomes at 80% AMI or below (please see Annual Gross Income Limits table below). This 1BR, one bath is 520 sq. ft. and located at 429 Norfolk Street. It is part of a fifty unit complex, Union Place. The purchase price is $138,672 and monthly condo fee will initially be $177.00. If you are interested in purchasing this unit, please read the information packet. This unit is a resale available through Realtor, Sharon Ronkin, at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, her contact information can be found below.

Please note: Offers with complete applications including income and asset documentation are due Wednesday, May 2nd at 11 a.m.

Annual Gross Income Limits at 80% Area Median Income

Adjusted by household size for PMSA Boston, MA (2017)

1 person household

$54,750

2 person household

$62,550

3 person household

$70,350

Contact

Sharon Ronkin CBR,GRI, CRS,REALTOR®
Senior Global Real Estate Advisor
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
N.E Prime Properties
Boston/Cambridge/North Shore
781-307-1293
E: [email protected]

Thank you for your interest in the affordable rental units at Montaje in Assembly Row. The application period and waitlist for these units is now closed; the lottery was held on Monday, Dec. 11th 2017 at City Hall. SEB LLC, the consultant hired by Street Realty Inc. held the lottery for 56 income-restricted units available through the Inclusionary Housing Program. Click here to view a video of the lottery. One thousand seven hundred and seventy eight (1,778) complete applications for eligible households were submitted before the application deadline and included in the lottery. Only eligible households were provided with an application number before the lottery by either email or mail. After the lottery households received waitlist numbers via email or mail for the type of unit and income limit they applied for. If an email address was not provided, a letter including the waitlist number should have been received during the week of Dec. 18th 2017.
To see where you are on the waitlist, click on the link with the unit type and area median income (AMI) you were found eligible for then, look for your application number (no. 1-1,778) to find your standing on the waitlist. Households with the first numbers for each unit type at both 50% and 80% AMI have been contacted by Greystar, the management company which runs background and credit checks first. If households pass the first screening with Greystar, SEB then runs an income certification whereby households are required to fill in a Documentation Requirements Guide which was sent by SEB in an email or by mail with your application number before the lottery. Additionally, households must submit income and asset documentation for the most recent three (3) months as well as the most recent tax returns. If you have any questions regarding your lottery number or application please contact SEB at 617-782-2300 x204 or [email protected].  If you are on the waitlist and need to update your contact information please email or call Greystar at [email protected] or 617-623-0101.

Waiting Lists

For information on the units and process going forward, please reference the information packet found here.

If you missed this lottery but, would like to be notified of future income-restricted rental and homeownership units available through the Inclusionary Housing Program, sign up for notifications here.