More Affordable Housing and Home Ownership Opportunities

Dear Everett,

 

My name is Gerly Adrien. I am running a people-powered campaign to become your next Mayor. As a long-time Everett resident and current City Councilor At-Large, one of the biggest issues that come up when I speak to voters is housing. Everett needs safe, healthy, accessible, affordable housing. We are currently undergoing an extreme housing crisis in this city, and our current leadership has yet to introduce any real plans or solutions on how to fix it. 

 

Today, I am working to change that by introducing my initial Home Ownership and Affordable Housing Opportunities Plan to create permanent, affordable housing for Everett residents.

 

We need to be honest. There is a housing crisis in Everett.  Many residents have to choose between paying for their home or paying for basic necessities. People who grew up in Everett can no longer afford to stay here. Home ownership is an unattainable dream for more and more families. Seniors on a fixed income struggle with increasingly high property taxes. We cannot afford to wait another 14 years to see real solutions. Changing this will take someone who is bold and not afraid to stand up for the people.

 

The issue of housing insecurity is personal for me. Ever since the age of 14 years old, I learned about zoning, affordable housing, shelters, gentrification, and home ownership as a youth organizer at Teen Empowerment, and as an intern at the Somerville Community Corporation. I will use my experience in creating permanently affordable housing to address the longstanding housing affordability crisis in Everett. 

 

Many people in our city have been experiencing housing insecurity. Promoting housing stability is crucial to the health and wealth of our neighbors in Everett. Housing is a human right. And as we’ve seen throughout the past year and a half through the pandemic, housing is also a public health issue. We need to address it the right way. 

 

As Mayor, I will reinvent the decision making process to be led  by the community to prioritize real affordable housing. I will work with our residents, landlords, organizations, and developers to ensure we reform our zoning and planning practices, revamp our Planning Department, expand pathways to home ownership, and invest in  stable housing for low-income residents. We need to ensure tenants’ right to counsel, for free. We need to protect tenants against displacement and rising housing prices. We need to increase our community partnerships to be part of the solution. We need to provide more mental health care and treatment for substance abuse disorders to create long-lasting solutions to homelessness.

 

Everett needs change. Join me in this fight to win for our future. 

 

We cannot afford another four years of lack of investment. Let us do this together. Let us work to provide real solutions and equal opportunities for everyone, not the selected few.

 

I welcome all feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at gerly@gerlyadrien.com, call/text 617-835-8267, or complete the survey: bit.ly/gerlyhome. I want to listen to you. I know we can do this together.

 

Thank You,

Gerly Adrien

Create the Homeowners and Tenants Protections Office at City Hall

  • Provide financial relief to small landlords to support rent forgiveness for tenants in crisis and after eviction moratoriums are lifted.

  • Allow for longer grace periods for past-due taxes.

  • Invest a line item in the budget to assist homeowners who have fallen behind on their property taxes due to an unexpected hardship (job loss, medical bills, etc.).

  • Partner with the Everett Housing Authority and allow for greater City/resident control of the Everett Housing Authority.

  • Implement policies around tenants having the opportunity to purchase. This means that when a property goes up for sale, existing tenants will have the option to purchase the property first. City will provide funding and technical assistance for tenants to do this. 

  • Provide bi-annual workshops for all landlords and homeowners on what is required to be done in the city. 

  • Provide home ownership opportunities for residents by increasing the number of homeowners from Everett tenants as a personal promise. 

  • Partner with local banks to provide resources to increase the number of homeowners. 

  • Develop workshops to prepare people for homeownership and to become a landlord, etc.

  • Create a Housing Stability sub department where there are case managers to help residents navigate housing issues and know their rights.

Tenants Bill of Rights

Over half of the city’s residential units are rentals. As a landlord, I truly believe tenants need a bill of rights. This would provide protections to tenants in understanding their rights. From evictions to illegal lockouts and landlords who collect rent, but fail to provide safe living conditions, I will develop a process where no one will live in fear.  

 

Addressing Homelessness

Everett has a homelessness issue. We as a city need to address the root causes and then create a process with real next steps/action plans to address them.

  • Support a Homeless Bill of Rights to decriminalize homelessness.

  • Work with homelessness advocacy groups and organizations to provide housing, equipped with wrap-around social services, that will help us end the cycle of homelessness.

  • Provide more technical assistance and opportunities to help provide career training, resume building and other needed skills.

  • Provide the resources and social services people need to find employment, receive medical treatment if necessary, and work towards finding long-term, sustainable housing.

 

Holding Developers Accountable 

Developers should show that their projects will help the community and create new jobs with living wages while providing the best options for the community as a whole.

  • Promote inclusionary, mixed-income housing.

  • Support/incentivize affordable housing and mixed-use development that fosters small business and community development.

  • Ensure strong and meaningful Community Benefit Agreements.

  • Implement and fund the city’s affordable housing trust fund and to truly create more affordable housing options.

  • Ensure developers pay their fair share and invest in the community they’re joining.

  • Require developers to build realistic parking space into their buildings to reduce the parking burden on the surrounding community

 

Reform The Planning Department To Work For The Community First

  • Enforce the housing code, but work with residents first. 

  • Increase enforcement and requirements for landlords and property maintenance companies.

  • No heavy fines for homeowners.

  • Invest in a home repair program where the city can provide aid to homeowners  in need of home improvements. 

  • Create the city’s first Landlord Bank Registration:

    • Create and publicize a user-friendly online portal 

      • Tenants can type in a property address to get landlord information, including history of property violations.

      • Require LLCs to disclose contact information and addresses of parties.

    • Provide incentives where the City of Everett and landlords can part up together. 

  • Give residents control to be part of the neighborhood planning efforts. 

  • Annual Town Halls for residents to engage with city officials, stakeholders, and developers directly 

  • Empower residents by forming neighborhood committees that have the power to approve or deny planning and zoning.