The ability to have a roof over your head and four walls surrounding you is a right and not a privilege that only a few should possess. Right now, in the Greater Boston area and Somerville in particular, there is a high demand for housing. This is causing housing prices and rents to skyrocket exponentially. It is driving residents who have lived here for decades out of Somervilley because they cannot afford to remain. It is also preventing many individuals that want to move to Somerville because they cannot afford it.
As a member of the City Council, I will work on this problem. It is a problem that cannot and will not be a “quick fix.” However, it is an achievable goal. In order to achieve this goal, I want to work with the City’s Affordable Housing Trust, Fair Housing Commission, and Office of Housing Stability to bring more affordable housing to Somerville. I will work with them to help bring in new residential developments, as well as ensure that there are enough affordable housing options that the residents of Somerville are not forced out by exorbitant rates, and so future residents can afford to move into Somerville without having to earn at least $85,000 a year.
To accomplish this goal, I will to push to increase the minimum number of affordable housing units in all new constructions by 2.5%. This does not seem like much. However, when you apply that to the over 500,000 new housing units that Somerville needs, a 2.5% increase would create over 12,500 new affordable housing opportunities. That right there is over 12,500 families that will be able to afford to stay or move to Somerville.