How and Why
Somerville and the Boston region as a whole are suffering through a housing affordability crisis. To address it, we need to build more housing.
Increased housing production, especially in dense areas near transit, helps our community in many ways:
- Increasing the number of homes relieves pressure on prices
- Inclusionary zoning creates subsidized housing, paid for by market-rate housing.
- Shorter commutes reduce pollution and fight climate change (and reduce traffic for drivers as well!)
- Greater density counteracts segregation and social isolation
- Construction jobs help the city’s economy
Affordable Housing and Inclusionary Zoning
Somerville needs both subsidized and market-rate housing, and we need plenty of both. Many activists focus on the percentage of units that are designated as affordable; we prefer to maximize the number of affordable units created.
In other words, we’d rather see 20 affordable homes in a large building than 5 in a small one. After all, nobody can live in a percentage of a building that isn’t built.
We support policies that:
- Increase the availability of all kinds of housing, including subsidized and market-rate
- Make it easier to get around on foot, on transit, or by bike.
- Promote mixed-use development, broadening our tax base and creating jobs in Somerville
- Help people of different economic and social backgrounds live in and participate in the community
- Reduce carbon footprint and use space and energy efficiently
- Help Somerville coordinate with other towns and cities to address housing and development issues regionally
- Make the process of planning, permitting, and building transparent and predictable