Katjana's Housing Stability Plan

Katjana Believes that Housing & Food Security are Human Rights

Katjana Believes that Housing & Food Security are Human Rights

Katjana's Housing Stability Plan

Housing stability is the basis of food security, health, and every kind of equity; education, employment, environmental, and social equity. Eviction and resulting homelessness serve no one’s best interest, and as mayor, I’ll work hard for housing stability and ending homelessness in Somerville. I’ll use every tool at hand to create housing stability while looking for even more effective tools. As mayor, I’ll be committed to using these tools to help us recover from COVID-19 without displacement:

  • Extend the States’ Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures, while providing assistance to both homeowners and tenants who have suffered losses caused by COVID-19.

  • Extend Somerville’s Eviction Moratorium. I strongly support the Eviction Moratorium at all levels of government, and importantly, Somerville’s Eviction Moratorium. It is likely that the local moratorium will have to be extended again as the State and Federal government’s resolve to do so may expire.

  • Provide tax reduction or forgiveness to property owners and renters who have experienced COVID-19 related losses.

  • Use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to help property owners and renters who could not keep up with their mortgages, rent, or other financial obligations because of COVID.

  • Promote the Eviction Diversion Pledge. I’ll assign resources for outreach, mediation, and resource discovery. Eviction serves no one's best interest when it can be avoided with recovery planning and resources.

  • Extend the State of Emergency for Women, to address the disproportionate losses and harm affecting women and single-parent (often) women-led households in Somerville. During the quarantine, I co-sponsored the resolution declaring the state of emergency for women, which focused attention and city resources on our most vulnerable residents and families.

  • Fund and support the work of the Office of Housing Stability. I strongly supported the creation of the Office of Housing Stability as a key line of defense for our residents who have been and continue to be impacted by the pandemic.

  • Support the State’s Residential Assistance to Families in Transition program (RAFT). It requires staffing infrastructure to deliver the relief payments, and as mayor, I’ll devote resources to help administer RAFT.

  • Guaranteed Income Program (GIP) trial in Somerville. During the quarantine, I wrote a legislative order to create a GIP, to provide a minimum income for qualified residents, similar to a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program. Such income programs are highly regarded for their local, direct administration of assistance and for empowering the aid recipients individually, with responsibility and dignity. These could be funded with existing and new sources, with the local administration to provide direct, local assistance.

  • Use the full voice and influence of the mayor’s office to “hold the line” against eviction until we have established stability. This will take time and require the mayor’s office and its Office of Housing Stability to lead on this issue with regard to public education, outreach, enforcement, and bolstering the relief delivery system.