Find out the best ways to get around (and how to do so safely).
Welcome to Somerville! We’re excited to have you become a part of our vibrant community. On this page, you’ll find some links and resources to help you get moved into the city. Use the tabs below to get help with parking, trash and recycling, setting up your utilities, and more.
Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England, so parking is always at a premium. If you’re lucky enough to have a driveway, use it! Make sure you know the parking rules if you want to avoid getting a ticket or inconveniencing your neighbors.
You can reserve a parking spot before you move. That way, you won’t have to worry about finding a spot on the big day. Here’s what you need to know to get a permit:
Once you’ve filled out your application, mail or bring everything to:
133 Holland St.
Somerville, MA 02144
You can find more information and rules here.
If you'll be keeping a car in Somerville, you'll need a resident parking permit for your car, which costs $40. The permit is good for up to 12 months, depending on where you live and what time of year the permit is purchased. Here's what you'll need to apply:
Once you have an updated registration and proof of residency, you can apply for an annual resident parking permit online. Or, you can print out this application and bring it to the Parking Department.
If you're still waiting on an updated vehicle registration or proof of residency, you can apply for a 30-day temporary parking permit free of charge. Just fill out this application and bring it to the Parking Department.
You’ll probably have a lot of trash to get rid of after unpacking. Thankfully, most of your trash is probably fine for curbside pickup. Use the Waste Wizard to find out how to get rid of a certain item. Here’s what you need to know about trash and recycling pickup in the City:
For more information, visit our Trash & Recycling page, or call 311 (617-666-3311 outside of Somerville)
Once you get unpacked, you’ll need to do a few things to register as a resident. First, you’ll want to set up your utilities. The following companies provide service in Somerville:
Don't forget: Hold on to your first few utility bills, as you’ll need them to register for other City services (like parking permits).
If you're over 18 and an eligible voter, you can register to vote in Somerville online, in person, or by mail. You’ll need a valid ID and an updated address and signature with the RMV. Learn more about registering to vote here.
The City of Somerville is broken up into seven wards, and each ward is made up of three precincts. Your ward and precinct number determine where you vote and who represents you in City government. Look up your ward, precinct, and elected officials with MySomerville.
We’ll let you know about important information in the City, like severe weather alerts and parking emergencies. There are several ways to stay informed:
Keep track of what's going on in Somerville with the City's official accounts:
To follow other Somerville departments, like the Arts Council or Somerville Public Schools, check out our list of social media accounts.
311 is the City’s customer service line. We can help you with things like reporting a pothole, paying a parking ticket, and more.
There are plenty of resources available to you whether you rent or buy your home. Here, you’ll find ways to get help with tenant’s rights and lease information, emergency resources, and more.
It’s important to know your rights as a tenant. It’s illegal for landlords to discriminate based on race, religious beliefs, disabilities, age, or any other status. There are some exemptions for certain types of housing, like single-sex facilities and elderly housing. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, call the Somerville Fair Housing Commission at (617) 625-6600 x2577.
Landlords can only ask for certain types of deposits and fees. By law, they can ask for:
Landlords and brokers cannot ask for:
Landlords must keep your security deposit in an escrow account and give you the receipt. They must also send you a written statement of the apartment’s condition within 10 days of getting your deposit. This is to prevent them from charging you for damage that was already there. The deposit collects interest each year.
Brokers might charge a finder’s fee on top of your landlord’s fees. The broker must give you written notice of how much the fee will be, and you’ll both need to sign it.
Your landlord must make sure your apartment is in livable condition. Things like defective heating and electrical systems, broken toilets, bug infestations, and other health risks are violations of the state’s sanitary codes. If you notice these or any other issue that puts your health at risk, contact your landlord. Then, call the Somerville Inspectional Services Department at (617) 625-6600 x5600.
The Housing Division offers a number of programs to help homeowners and renters in Somerville. Our goal is to create and manage affordable housing in the City. We can help you find resources to prevent housing emergencies, like evictions and landlord disputes. Some of our services include the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Homelessness Prevention Program, and landlord/tenant mediation. If you need help, call us at (617)625-6600 x2560.
You can also contact the Somerville Housing Authority to get help with subsidized housing for low and moderate-income families. Visit their website to see affordable housing units in the City. Or, contact them at:
Somerville Housing Authority
30 Memorial Rd.
Somerville, MA 02145
There are plenty of resources available to you whether you rent or buy your home. Here, you’ll find ways to get help with buying and improving your home.
The Inclusionary Affordable Homeownership Program makes home ownership affordable for first-time buyers. Sign up to get newsletters from the City whenever a place is available. To qualify for the program, you’ll need to take a first-time homebuyer class with the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative. You can find more information on their classes here.
The Somerville Community Choice Electricity program lets residents and businesses buy their electricity in bulk. The program reduces the cost of electricity for participants and promotes the use of renewable energy. It also locks in rates for 30 months, so residents are protected from rate increases during the winter.
The Somerville Energy Efficiency Now! Program (SEEN) connects residents with energy efficiency programs through MassSave. They offer free energy audits and resources to help you cut down on energy usage. They’ll also help you find discounts on home improvements that will cut energy costs in your home.
To learn more about these and other clean energy programs, visit the SustainaVille page.
You may need to get a permit if you want to make changes to your home. The Inspectional Services Department handles zoning and permitting for construction. If you’re unsure whether you need a permit, contact the Department at (617) 625-6600 x5600. Once you know what you need, you can apply for a building permit online.
Somerville is a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. One reason why is that there are a lot of ways to experience the city: walk around a favorite square, conquer the seven hills by bike, traverse thoroughfares by bus, zip about by train, or drive in a car. Find out the best ways to get around (and how to do so safely) at the link below.
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