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