Members of the public are invited to attend a public hearing hosted by the Board of Aldermen to hear testimony on proposed changes to the City’s condo conversion ordinance. The changes are designed to both protect the rights of property owners while also offering better protection to tenants especially the elderly, persons with disabilities, and persons with low and moderate incomes. The hearing will take place on Thursday, January 31, at 6 p.m., at Somerville City Hall on the 2nd Floor in the Aldermanic Chambers. All interested persons may provide testimony.
In 2015, Mayor Curtatone established the Sustainable Neighborhoods Working Groupto pursue bold and innovative ideas that would support the City’s efforts to protect and preserve existing affordable housing, expand the City’s resources for creating more affordable housing, and address the need for middle-income housing for working families.
After nearly a year of research and deliberation the Working Group, which was chaired by Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang and former City Housing Director Dana LeWinter, issued a series of recommendations, including that after additional discussion and review, the City revise and strengthen the Condominium Conversion Ordinance.
The updated version now under consideration would, among other changes, increase the notification period for informing elderly, low- and moderate-income tenants, and persons with disabilities of an intent to convert a unit to a condo, increase relocation assistance for tenants (with the greatest increases proposed for elderly and low- and moderate-income tenants and persons with disabilities), and strengthen provisions for a tenant’s rights to purchase. You can learn more about the full list of proposed changes to the existing ordinance and find a detailed FAQ document, timeline, and other information at www.somervillema.gov/condo-conversion.
Public testimony at the hearing may be limited to two or three minutes per person, depending upon the number of people who want to testify. If you would like to submit official written comments for the record outside of the public hearing, please email them to BoardofAldermen@somervillema.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 8.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323or NSalamoun@somervillema.gov.