5 Affordable Rental Units in New Millbrook Lofts to be Designated for Artists

Public meeting Feb. 3 to discuss artist certification process, application timeline. 15 of the 100 units in the development to be designated affordable. 5 of the 15 affordable units are for certified artists.

SOMERVILLE – The Somerville Arts Council and the Housing Division of the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development announced this week a public meeting to discuss a first-of-its-kind housing opportunity for Somerville artists. On Wed., Feb. 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Armory at 191 Highland Ave., City staff will present information about five (5) affordable rental units for certified artists as artist live/work space. The 5 affordable artist units are included in the 15 total affordable housing units to be offered through the City’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, but are the first of their kind to be offered specifically to income eligible artists in Somerville.

Eight rental units will be restricted to households at or below fifty percent of Area Median Income, and seven rental units will be restricted to households at or below eighty percent of Area Median Income. The affordable units at Millbrook Lofts range in size from one to two bedrooms.

The City of Somerville has established through zoning the creation of artist spaces permanently dedicated to artists. An individual who seeks to rent or purchase one of these artist units will be required to submit a current Artist Certificate as proof of eligibility. Artist Certificates will be provided to applicants who qualify as an artist living or working in Somerville and who can demonstrate to a committee of peers that they have a recent body of work as an artist. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

The Feb. 3 meeting will provide information to interested artists seeking income and artist eligibility requirements. Artist certification applications will be due to the Arts Council by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17. Subsequent meetings will be held for all other interested (non-artist) applicants as normal for affordable rental opportunities. Additional information sessions will be held Feb. 10 at the Armory from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Visiting Nurse Assisted Living (VNA) at 259 Lowell St.

All applicants selected for the affordable rental opportunities – artist or resident – must be recertified after a specified period of time for income eligibility.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Betsy Allen, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected].