Somerville Seeking Applicants for Newly Established Office of Housing Stability Advisory Board

The City of Somerville is currently seeking applications for the newly created Office of Housing Stability (OHS) Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will work with the OHS Director to identify policy and programmatic priorities for the OHS to further its mission of preventing the displacement of Somerville residents. The Advisory Board will:

· Identify gaps in existing homelessness prevention and rehousing services and potential strategies for addressing identified service gaps
· Identify and evaluate potential policy solutions to help prevent displacement, increase the supply of affordable housing and enhance tenants’ rights
· Provide guidance for housing policy
· Review available data relating to housing and homelessness in Somerville, and
· Identify additional data needs and strategies for obtaining such data

The Advisory Board will meet monthly for an initial period of twelve months. In addition to the OHS Director, other designated OHS staff, and a representative from the Board of Aldermen, the Advisory Board will consist of at least six Somerville residents with expertise in housing or homelessness issues (tenants or homeowners), at least one Somerville resident who is a tenant of low or moderate income (up to 80% of Area Median Income) and who lives in affordable housing, and three persons from community agencies serving Somerville residents on issues relating to housing, homelessness or human services.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and brief answers to the following questions to Ellen Shachter, Director of the Office of Housing Stability at eshachter@somervillema.gov by December 21, 2018.

· When you hear that Somerville has a “housing crisis” what does that mean to you?
· What has been your experience working on or learning about the issues of housing and homelessness in Somerville or elsewhere?
· What is your current thinking about best approaches for preventing displacement in Somerville?
· What is one realistic and achievable goal you would recommend for the OHS?
· Why do you want to participate in the OHS Advisory Board and what could you, in particular, add to its thinking?
· Do you have any lived experience with issues of housing, homelessness or displacement that might help you understand the challenges facing low and moderate income Somerville residents?

Applications will be reviewed by January 7, 2019 and applicants will be notified if selected as a finalist.

For information about housing programs, and services and in Somerville please see www.somervillema.gov/departments/ospcd/housing.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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