Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,
The process needs to begin by providing all homeowners notice of the plan and the opportunity to discuss the details prior to moving forward and seeking any type of approval. Whether at the State or local level.
Somerville had built in affordable housing until the boom of condo conversions began and flippers, investors and real estate developers began buying everything up in our city. The concern by many in each and every neighborhood was ignored.
Today people are being evicted as a result of this problem forcing many to leave the City or go into public housing and senior buildings if available. Forced to leave the neighborhoods they grew up in and loved for many years.
The homes that are owner occupied whether single or multifamily are barely surviving unless they continue to raise the rents. This forces these long-term residents out of the City. They were the ones every election you knocked on their door to get their vote. They were the ones that got worn out with the repeated neighborhood meetings to fight poor development in their neighborhood.
Sadly it seems the elected officials think all the homeowners have deep pockets and keep coming to us for more money every time another brilliant scheme is devised to raise revenue.
We have been hit with constant increases due to new development, revaluation, ” minor tax increases”, CPA tax, excise tax, increased parking fees, and the numerous bonds that are coming down the pike.
The thought of a transfer tax is like the last kick in the ass by the City to those that have chosen to live here through it all.
As one wonderful long-term resident stated to me we were here when it was known as scummerville. Because it was affordable, convenient, we shopped local in all the mom and pop stores, fruit markets, bakeries, laundromat, drugstores, ate at the locally owned restaurants. We had our car serviced at the family run gas stations, visited local doctors and more.
Yes that is what we did before gentrification and over development of our city. The politicians cared, they listened, they debated and sometimes fought for what was right for the families that they represented.
Somerville needs affordable housing that must truly reflect the needs of those that are being affected. The ones being forced out, the employees that can’t afford to stay here and the homeowners who are here and have paid their dues without taking more from them.
Every property owner deserves to know all the details before any type of approval. This transfer tax was discussed at the first Alderman’s Meeting. It was recommended that the less specific the language was, the easier it will be to get through.
Somerville homeowners deserve better. Speak up before it’s too late contact your Senator, State Representatives, Alderman and Mayor. Voice you’d concerns, ask questions and demand clear answers.
John L Sullivan