SCC Overview and History
Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) is a membership organization that provides leadership for sustaining the City of Somerville as a vibrant, diverse and tolerant community. We offer services and lead community organizing that supports low- and moderate-income Somerville residents in their efforts to achieve economic sustainability and increase civic participation.
SCC has determined that preserving and enhancing the remaining economic, racial, and ethnic diversity of our population is the overarching priority that drives our work today. This decision was made after witnessing the substantial displacement of low-income and working families from the western half of Somerville since the 1980s.
SCC has adopted a three-pronged approach to creating and preserving diversity and housing affordability in Somerville:
- Develop and preserve as many affordable units as we can, thereby taking those units off the speculative real estate market.
- Organize the community to promote policies (such as inclusionary housing, linkage, and the preservation of expiring use housing) that enhance the regulatory and funding environment for affordable housing.
- Create access to opportunities for our constituents through financial education, counseling and asset-building programs in an effort to help families and individuals "compete" for housing in Somerville.
History and Evolution
SCC was founded in 1969 as a multi-service center assisting low-income Somerville residents. We began Somerville's first soup kitchen, Project Soup, and operated it for 25 years before turning over operations to the Somerville Homeless Coalition. We also provided advocacy services to our constituencies to address and prevent housing emergencies.
Today, SCC is a $1.5 million community development corporation that works in affordable housing development, community organizing, homelessness prevention, asset building and school- and community-based mediation.
Over time, SCC has built a growing constituency and active membership base, dedicated to making change in Somerville. Our board of directors is composed of a diverse group of 19 active members.top
SCC has completed more than 20 affordable housing projects, resulting in over 200 ownership and rental units. We are currently redeveloping the former Saint Polycarp Parish property, our largest and most complex development project to date. Through our Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC), we have won victories such as increasing the linkage fee to generate more funds for affordable housing development and support.
We have also been successful in neighborhood organizing, such as our East Somerville Initiative, and in immigrant organizing through groups, like Voices of Immigrants in Somerville (VIS).
We have assisted hundreds of adults and young people gain security through our housing counseling, emergency assistance and referral programs, as well as our award-winning school-based mediation programs.top