Affordable Housing Organizing Committee (AHOC)

AHOC works to educate community members about the need for affordable housing, influence policy at the state and local level, and engage community members through actions, campaigns, and discussions. Formed in 2000, AHOC supports developments and policies that increase the supply of affordable housing in Somerville and make it more accessible to low-income families.

As Somerville develops, many people are being displaced because of increasing rents and home prices. More affordable housing allows people stay in Somerville and take advantage of new amenities like the Green Line Extension. AHOC works to keep Somerville diverse and expand access to safe, accessible, affordable housing.

AHOC meets the first Thursday of every month from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 337 Somerville Ave. Second Floor. We have dinner, interpretation and child care at our meetings. For more information and to get involved, contact René Mardones at 617.410.9913.

Some of AHOC’s current and past campaigns include:

  • In May 2016, the Somerville Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a proposal submitted by the SCC member-led Affordable Housing Organizing Committee of the Somerville Community Corporation to implement stronger inclusionary zoning requirements.
  • In 2017, we won an increase in the City’s affordable housing linkage fee from $5.15 to $10 per square foot. This fee is paid by commercial developers into the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create new affordable housing.
  • In 2012, we supported tenants and business owners at 380 Somerville Avenue in their fight against condo conversion and displacement. Because of AHOC's organizing, the City Council updated the condo conversion ordinance to better protect tenants.
  • We regularly organize tenants of “expiring use” properties to ensure that rents stay affordable. We have led expiring use campaigns throughout the city and helped to preserve more than 200 affordable units.
  • After AHOC and local partners' advocacy for a real estate transfer tax, the Mayor and City Council introduced a home rule petition in order to get state authorization for implementation of a transfer fee. Recently our ally State Rep. Mike Connolly introduced legislation at the State House which would allow any town or city in Massachusetts to implement the transfer fee without the home rule petition. 

AHOC members lead an anti-displacement march with residents of 380 Somerville Avenue.

Read about the new path-breaking inclusionary zoning law in Somerville that is a national model.

See also: General, English