Candidates running for Somerville alderman discussed their positions on a number of affordability and development issues at a candidate’s forum held in early October by SCC-AHOC*, the Union United Coalition and the Winter Hill Neighborhood Association. If you missed the forum, you can read the candidates’ responses to our questionnaire.
The candidates to stated their positions on inclusionary zoning, job linkage, off-site affordable housing, and city services to support tenants. All the candidates present raised their hands to indicate support for a job linkage fee at $2.46/square foot and a City Office of Housing Stability or a comparable office to inform tenants of their rights.
The question of whether or not to accept cash payments or off-site affordable units as part of the inclusionary zoning requirement was controversial. Some candidates said they would accept off-site units if the developers provided more units or increased affordability. Others said they would prefer to keep all inclusionary housing on-site to avoid segregation. Most of the candidates agreed that the decision on inclusionary housing at Assembly Row this past spring did not have an adequate public process.
AHOC will not be endorsing any candidates. We organized this forum to provide an opportunity for community members to hear from the candidates on these critical issues. Municipal elections are November 7!
* Affordable Housing Organizing Committee