OSPCD: Housing Stability

City of Somerville FY22 Budget

Mission Statement

To prevent the involuntary displacement of Somerville residents who are in the process of eviction or at other risk of losing their housing; to rehouse the homeless and those needing to relocate; and to enact policies to combat displacement and enhance tenants’ rights.

Personal Services Changes

Personal Services are projected up 53% for FY22.

A new Housing Search Case Manager is proposed for FY22 to specialize in housing searches for residents with the most complex needs.

The Director of Housing Stability has been reclassified for FY22.

Changes in salaries are due to adjustments to CDBG allocations, negotiated collective bargaining agreements and merit increases based on annual performance reviews.

Ordinary Maintenance Changes

Ordinary Maintenance costs are projected up 29% for FY22.

This is primarily due to a $100,000 increase in the City's allocation of FlexFunds for homelessness prevention and rental stabilization.

FY22 Goals & Measures of Progress

GOAL 1: Assist Somerville tenants, landlords, homeowners, and City/community service providers with housing-related matters by providing advice, case management, and advocacy to prevent eviction/displacement and ensure housing stability; Ensure service to those who have been historically underinvested.

  • Directly serve between 500 and750 households.
  • Administer and monitor contracts for housing search, legal assistance, and tenant education and outreach.
  • Work in coalition with providers to continue proactive work to decrease the number of eviction cases filed from pre-pandemic levels.
  • Work closely with SOIA and the school department to ensure service for LEP families.
  • Provide technical support and training to the Eviction Response Network as needed.

GOAL 2: Distribute information and provide workshops about landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities, and resources available to assist at-risk tenants and homeowners.

  • Host a minimum of 10 outreach/training events and four (4) workshops with and/or in addition to those initiated under contract by non-profit providers.
  • Continue to update online materials and resources available on the OHS website and through the Know Your Rights Coalition.
  • Conduct outreach to landlords to encourage working collaboratively with OHS to promote tenancy stabilization and participation in tenant-based subsidized housing programs.
  • Continue ongoing work to develop a compilation of information regarding landlords and management companies in Somerville and do individualized outreach to real estate agents and landlords.
  • Continue to monitor implementation of the SomerVIP and compliance with the Housing Stability Notification Act.

GOAL 3: Work toward the passage and implementation of policies and programs that increase the supply of affordable housing, target more resources to those at imminent risk of displacement, and enhance tenants’ rights.

  • Active participation in efforts to pass state legislation including, but not limited to, Transfer Fee Enabling Legislation, Right to Counsel, Eviction Record Sealing and Tenant Right to Purchase (TOPA).
  • Identify and pursue local programmatic and legislative strategies including: defending condominium conversation ordinance; inclusion of fair housing principles into Zoning; working to expand rental assistance resources; and relaxing requirements which create barriers to access.
  • Collaborate with the Housing Division to explore strategies for enhancing affordability of deed-restricted properties for households with incomes under 50% area median income (AMI).

FY22 Budget

Personnel Listing