In This Issue
New Member Open House May 28th
Sign Up for First-Time Homebuyer Course in May
Save Our Homes: May 18th
Welcome Maya Wallerce!
Ongoing Meetings
181 Washington Street Approved
Union Square Redevelopment
Raise Up MA
Welcome New Saint Polycarp Residents!
LDI 2014 Graduates
Job Readiness Night A Success!
SCC Spotlight: Noah Hodgetts
Save the Date!
New Member Open House 
May 28th

SCC will be holding a New Member Open House at our office in Union Square on Wednesday, May 28th. We hold these events periodically so that new members can get to know each other, enjoy some refreshments and conversation, and learn a bit more about SCC. The gathering is designed to be laid-back, so we encourage you to stop by sometime during the evening! 


For more information, please contact


First-Time Homebuyer Course
May 2014 

Sign up now for SCC's First-Time Homebuyer Class in May 2014! 

The four-session, 12-hour class will feature presentations by a real estate agent, lender, home inspector, real estate attorney, and insurance agent, in addition to SCC staff. This course will teach you everything you need to know before you start the process of buying your first home. Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate that enables them to access products geared specifically toward first-time homebuyers, such as the ONE loan. 


The class will be conducted in English from 6 to 9 pm on May 5, 7, 12, and 14. Pre-registration is required and participants must attend all four sessions in order to receive the certificate.

A complete 2014 class calendar can be viewed on our website. For more information or to register, please contact

Shannon Erb at 617-776-5931 x238.

Save the Date!

2014 Save Our Homes Walk: May 18th


This year's Save Our Homes Walk will take place on Sunday, May 18th from 2-4 pm! Together with The Somerville Homeless Coalition, our goal for the 11th Annual Save Our Homes Walk is to raise $30,000 in targeted grants to help people with security deposits, back rent, utility bills, and moving costs related to stabilizing  housing. Read More.



SCC New Member


Welcome Maya!


Welcome to the newest SCC member, Maya Evelyn Wallerce!  Julia Prange Wallerce, SCC's Manager of Communications and Marketing, delivered a healthy baby girl on 3/20. Julia, Chris, and Maya are happy and enjoying the spring. Congratulations!
(Photo Credit: Thais DeMarco)


Ongoing Meetings
Our many groups and committees meet regularly and are usually open to newcomers! Please click on the calendar image below to see the what's happening this month!
12.09 Elizabeth Peabody


Join Our Mailing List!   


  Follow us on Twitter



Like us on Facebook 



Spring has barely begun and already we have many new beginnings to celebrate in-house and in the neighborhood. This month, we are excited for new developments in our projects that benefit Somerville residents and businesses through jobs, housing, and civic engagement, and hope that you are as excited as we are to continue cultivating Somerville's growth and diversity.  


From all of us at SCC, thank you for your support! 


181 Washington Street

Approved and with No Appeals! 

We are pleased to announce that after more than two and a half years, SCC and CPI are in the clear to move ahead with project plans! On March 6 of this year, the Planning Board approved SCC and Cathartes Private Investments' (CPI) joint site review and special permit application to build two four-story mixed-use buildings on adjacent parcels located just off Union Square at 181 and 197 Washington Street. The appeal period for the decision expired on April 1st with no appeals. 


The SCC building will provide 35 much-needed one-, two-, and three-bedroom affordable units to accommodate a variety of family sizes, as well as 2,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space. CPI's building will provide 30 one- and two-bedroom condominium units for sale at market rates and 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail space. Each building will have a roof deck and will share a parking lot for 65 cars behind the building, accessible by a common driveway. A total of 44 bike parking spaces will be provided for residents and visitors, including 4 bike racks on the sidewalk. The street edge of both buildings will be activated by as many as 6 entrances for the retail space, separate entrances for the residential use, new lighting, and a new variable-width sidewalk on Washington Street. 


SCC's Real Estate team continues to work with the architectural firm of DiMella Shaffer and their lead architect, Union Square resident Frank Valdes, to prepare construction drawings. The goal is to secure all financing, procure a General Contractor, and break ground on construction by the fall of this year with construction completion projected twelve months after that!


Many thanks to all the members and supporters who helped us get to this point! We couldn't have done it without you.


Union Square Revitalization Update:


The City of Somerville is currently seeking a master developer to transform 12 key acres (or 2.3 million square feet) of Union Square over the next twenty years. Guided by the Union Square Revitalization Plan, SomerVision, and an appointed Civic Advisory Committee (CAC), nine developers bid on the project and last week were narrowed down to four finalists: Gerding Edlen, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), The Abbey Group and Magellan/Mesirow (US2).

SCC's committees, which organize around land use, community planning, local jobs, and affordable housing are working hard to ensure that this project benefits our community. On Tuesday, April 1, our Land Use Committee and Link Somerville hosted a popular education workshop to discuss the Union Square redevelopment project. We discussed who all the players are, helped determine community values and priorities, and made planning language more accessible so that everyone can participate in this important process. 


To find out how you can get involved, contact Community Planner Mashael Majid at or 617-776-5931 ext. 228. You can check out the development proposals here and view pictures from the workshop here.


Raise Up MA

Increasing Wages and Earned Sick Time for Workers in Massachusetts

The Raise Up Massachusetts Campaign is moving into a new phase. On April 2, the State House of Representatives passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour. The bill also includes important workplace and wage protections for Massachusetts domestic workers, who often face wage theft, harassment, and other abuses. Unfortunately, the bill does not index the minimum wage to inflation, and it does not include a major increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers. 


The Raise Up coalition's proposal includes indexing and a tipped minimum wage that is 60% of the overall minimum wage. The State Senate passed a strong bill in February. Now the issue will to go to a conference committee, where representatives from both chambers will try to reach a compromise. The Somerville delegation has been extremely supportive on these proposals, but we need a majority of support in the legislature for important issues like indexing and tipped workers. 


Luckily, we still have the ability to bring the minimum wage proposal to Massachusetts voters, along with our proposal for earned sick time. In order to do that, we need to gather another round of signatures between May 10 and June 15.   


Last fall, we were able to gather 1,700 signatures. This spring, Jobs for Somerville is committed to gathering at least 500 signatures. Will you join us? 


Please contact Rene at to be a part of this effort.


Saint Polycarp Village

Welcoming Residents to New, Green, Affordable Housing in Somerville

We are excited to announce that Phase III of construction at Saint Polycarp Village was recently completed, and new residents have already begun moving in. Most of the 31 families selected for the development will move in throughout the rest of April, with the goal of achieving full occupancy by May. 


This marks the completion of the final phase of the village, which is now home to a total of 84 families. We look forward to seeing the final landscaping and tree-planting over the next final weeks, as well as the wrap-up of the certification process for LEED Platinum status and Energy Star V3. 


Congratulations to SCC's Newest LDI Graduates!
On March 29, a new group of 17 leaders graduated from the Leadership Development Institute (LDI). During the four sessions of LDI, participants learned how to become leaders in the community, improve their communication skills, build power through campaigns, and apply their skills in the Somerville context. We had a special visit on the last day from Ward 1 Alderman Matt McLaughlin, who shared his story of a grassroots campaign for political leadership.

As in previous years, the 2014 LDI class was very diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, and experience, which gave the participants and opportunity to learn from each other's stories. We had ESOL students from The Welcome Project, Teen Empowerment youth, and active SCC members. Between sessions, leaders participated in a community meeting for the Union Square Redevelopment process and saw some of the lessons of community leadership in action.

If you are interested in participating in complementary workshops on leadership, please contact Rene



2014 Save Our Homes Walk  
Help SCC keep Somerville residents in their homes!

This year's Save Our Homes Walk will take place on Sunday, May 18 from 2-4 pm! Together with the Somerville Homeless Coalition, our goal for the 11th annual Save Our Homes Walk is to raise $30,000 in targeted grants to help people with security deposits, back rent, utility bills, and moving costs related to stabilizing housing. 


SCC members join with other organizations and residents in this 5K walk to raise money to support our friends and neighbors who find themselves behind in their rent and at risk of becoming homeless as a result. Often, a small amount of money can make the difference between keeping someone in safe, decent housing, and that same person finding him or herself out on the street, homeless.

In the 11 years we have participated in Save Our Homes, we have been able to help hundreds of families and individuals stay in their homes. Join us for a fun, festive afternoon with a nice walk through a few Somerville neighborhoods, and know that you are helping fellow residents of those neighborhoods stay in their homes. 


For more information about the Walk please visit the Save Our Homes Walk website or contact Kathryn Benjamin at 617-625-6111 x225. 


 SCC's First Job Readiness Night a Success!

As part of our new First Source jobs program, SCC held its first Job Readiness Night on March 27. Now set to be a monthly event, the evening was an opportunity for job seekers to meet other Somerville residents who are looking for jobs, participate in an empowering community-building exercise, complete SCC's Comprehensive Intake with a staff member or volunteer, and attend a workshop on resume writing. 


The next Job Readiness Night will take place on April 22. The goal will be to help participants prepare for the next Assembly Row job fair, which will be held on April 23. Participants will find out how a job fair works and practice interacting with employers. 


To sign up, or for more information about Career Development services, please contact Jorge Colon at (617) 776-5931 x232 or


SCC Spotlight:

Noah Hodgetts

Last fall, SCC was thrilled to welcome Noah Hodgetts as our GIS and Data Analysis Intern. Noah has been an integral part of collecting, sorting, and analyzing data on subsidized housing, open space, land use, and citywide job share. He worked directly with Community Planner Mashael Majid to evaluate baseline data using GIS and community input for the Link Somerville Equity Standards, a set of community-generated metrics centered on good, equitable development in Somerville. Noah also helped SCC Real Estate Director Scott Hayman identify affordable housing opportunities in the city. 


We wish him all the best as he gets ready to graduate from Northeastern University with a master's degree in urban planning. Thank you, Noah!




As always, we appreciate feedback.  Be sure to join us on Facebook & Twitter for the most current info on what we're up to and how to get involved. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon! 

Daniel LeBlanc
Somerville Community Corporation