Somerville Property Owners Coalition


Somerville is a city undergoing rapid change and growth. As the city grapples with this challenge and other challenges in the future, it is necessary to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table. SPOC was created to advocate for property owners and to ensure that our voice is also heard.

Our Mission

To help educate and inform Somerville property owners of the significant proposed legislation recently passed and currently under development which will adversely affect property rights, property values and landlord-tenant relationships.


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Somerville Property Owners Coalition

P.O. Box 441488, Somerville, MA 02144




NEW Condo Conversion Ordinance (CCO) - In effect as of July 31, 2019.  Conversions of 2- and 3-family homes are now severely restricted. It is currently being challenged by property owners in the courts (we need your urgent support!). Read more below.

Transfer "Fee"  - This is a proposed fee to be paid by both buyers and sellers upon the sale of real estate to fund affordable housing. Read more below.

Proposed Rezoning - Proposed changes will effectively replace all RB to NR zoning, removing a property owners right to add additional dwelling unit(s) -- something that would add more housing. Instead, the City wants to rezone your property, taking away this right which will contribute to the housing shortage. Read more below.


Condominium Conversion Ordinance (CCO)

  • The new CCO takes away your fundamental right to control YOUR private property
  • Owners of 2- and 3-family homes can no longer convert, or sell to a developer to convert, their private property, without first offering units “as is” to tenants, a “non-profit” or the City and before offering to the open market
  • Tenants now have up to 7 years to move out of your property! During this time:

                - you are not allowed to raise rents without permission from the City

                - you cannot rehab any units without permission from your tenants

  • You must pay up to $10,000 to relocate your tenant(s)!
  • You must find “comparable”housing IN the City of Somerville for your tenant(s)!

Why should I be concerned?

  • The restrictions of the CCO have now devalued your property because it makes it harder to sell.
  • The City is setting the rules for how, when and to whom you sell your property.
  • Your tenant, a non-profit or the City can buy your property below market value, develop the property themselves and FLIP it at a profit and capitalize on YOUR LOSS.

What the City Council Did Not Consider

  • The homeowners most impacted are the very community members who make Somerville what it is today. We have proudly maintained our properties, provided years of tenant housing, paid our fair share of tax revenue -- all of which has contributed to the desirability of Somerville.
  • The City is literally taking away our hard-earned money and future means of support (YOUR retirement). Many of us have overcome the hard times and have earned the right to reap the benefits of the time, energy and money that we’ve invested in our homes. 


What can you do?

  • Immediately spread the word to other multi-family home owners in your neighborhood.
  • Contact your City Council member below and ask WHY they pushed this legislation through without proper community notification and participation. 
  • Sign up to be informed of upcoming SPOC and public City meetings. Get involved!
  • DONATE to our legal defense fund to fight this unfair and unjust ordinance. 

                             CONDO CONVERSION FLOW CHART


CRB=Condominium Review Board    NP=Non-Profit   L/M=Low/Moderate Income 

Support Us!

Please visit our GoFundMe page to contribute what you can!

(all donations are kept strictly confidential)

Transfer fee




Status: Pending.

Proposed City Transfer Fee legislation sent to the state legislature May 25, 2018.  Read about the City's Transfer Fee Home Rule Petition here. 

See City filing here.

RB/NR Zoning

Proposed Removal of RB Zoning

At a time when "housing emergency" and "affordability" are on everyone's lips, the Mayor and City Council have proposed new zoning that forfeits the 3rd unit of housing that is now a by-right unit in RB zone.  A unit built onto a property already owned is the most affordable rental unit that can be built. It doesn't require a huge upfront acquisition cost, plus the cost of new construction which creates an exorbitantly expensive unit - one that very few could afford. The City is sacrificing thousands of ready-to-build housing units that could ease the demand and slow the escalation of rental costs. Downzoning is bad - for property owners, for renters, and for the City itself. A new housing unit would bring revenue to the city in the form of permits, higher assessments, and greater tax revenue.  Through downzoning, your property's worth will diminish significantly, yet there will be no corresponding tax relief.   

Current Zoning Map

Proposed Zoning Map

See the RA/RB Report here.

Proposed Zoning Map (all RB zoning removed)
Proposed Zoning Map (all RB zoning removed)

Contact THE CITY



Joseph A. Curtatone

617-625-6600, ext. 2100



President and Ward 7 Councilor

   Katjana Ballantyne 617-440-4433

Vice President and Ward 1 Councilor

   Matthew McLaughlin 617-999-0924 


  Stephanie Hirsch  617-512-4847 


   Wilfred Mbah  508-718-8126 


   Mary Jo Rosetti  617-623-0092 


   William A. White, Jr.  617-625-9110 

Ward 1

   Matthew McLaughlin 617-999-0924 

Ward 2

   Jefferson Thomas ("JT") Scott 857-615-1532

Ward 3

   Ben Ewen-Campen 617-702-2613

Ward 4

   Jesse Clingan 617-290-1904

Ward 5

   Mark Niedergang 617-629-8033 

Ward 6

   Lance Davis 857-261-1909

Ward 7

   Katjana Ballantyne 617-440-4433



Somerville Property Owners Coalition

P.O. Box 441488

Somerville, MA 02144

(617) 863-0771

(all donations are kept strictly confidential)

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Your support is needed!

Please visit our GoFundMe page to contribute what you can!

(all donations are kept strictly confidential)