By Joe Curtatone
Historic vote last night at the Board of Aldermen meeting as it unanimously passed the home rule petition for a transfer fee that targets house flippers, speculators and investor-owners. What you see in the picture is me signing it immediately after it got approved.
The way this works is residents who live in their homes won’t pay anything, nor will buyers looking to make Somerville their home. This only applies to those who are making a business of living in Somerville. The upside is we will be getting millions each year that will enable us to set a new standard for how aggressive a community can be in terms of affordable housing development. This gives us the war chest we need to tackle our local housing crisis head on.
Huge credit to the BOA for the serious, open process that led to this vote. They made thoughtful amendments and built consensus. Community advocates also played a big role, keeping us focused on the big issue (a housing emergency that must be addressed) and asking tough questions that demanded serious answers. The city’s housing and legal departments also burned the midnight oil to make sure every i got dotted and every t got crossed.This is how government is supposed to work.
Finally, a thanks in advance to the Somerville legislative delegation. They have already been involved in this process and they are ready to support this to the hilt as moves to Beacon Hill.