Press Releases
Groundbreaking for Clarendon Hill Phase One Celebrated with Somerville Mayor Ballantyne and Representative Barber
The groundbreaking ceremony marks the first phase of neighborhood revitalization project
May 30, 2023

SOMERVILLE, MA – Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Representative Christine Barber, Preservation of Affordable Housing, Somerville Community Corporation, Somerville Housing Authority, residents, funders and partners today celebrated the groundbreaking for Clarendon Hill Apartments, Phase One.

The comprehensive redevelopment is a collaboration between Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), Somerville Community Corporation (SCC), Somerville Housing Authority (SHA) and partners to sustain and reinvigorate the Somerville community by building safe and affordable quality homes for current and future residents. Phase One consists of a 168-unit new construction project that will initiate the multi-phase redevelopment on Powder House Boulevard. The development is a one-for-one replacement of the existing 216 affordable public housing units and when complete will provide 591 units of mixed-income housing on the redesigned site.

"I am thrilled to join the groundbreaking ceremony for Clarendon Hill Phase One, which marks a significant milestone in Somerville's commitment to affordable housing and inclusive community development," said Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. "The work that begins today is a transformative project that will create a vibrant, mixed-income neighborhood that fosters diversity, opportunity, and a sense of belonging. I want to extend my gratitude to POAH, our public and private partners, including the state, local agencies, and dedicated developers for their tireless efforts in creating a more equitable and inclusive Somerville."

"The Phase One Clarendon Hill redevelopment groundbreaking is a landmark moment that demonstrates the Somerville community's commitment to affordable housing and diverse, inclusive communities," said Aaron Gornstein, POAH President and CEO.

Clarendon Hill was built in 1948 as housing for veterans returning from World War II. Over the years the buildings have become functionally obsolete and the current infrastructure fails to meet the needs of modern families. The redeveloped Clarendon Hill community will provide residents with enhanced amenities such as green and open space, community space, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, establish more connectivity for the residents throughout the site and the surrounding neighborhood, and create an additional 80 permanently affordable homes to support a diverse and inclusive Somerville community. The redevelopment will also include improved infrastructure that meets LEED Platinum standards to ensure environmental sustainability. 

"As we start this major renovation of the Clarendon Hill Apartments, we are happy for the residents who will see brand new apartment homes that will allow them to continue living affordably and thrive in Somerville," said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. "Clarendon Hill is an important public housing resource that offers deep affordability, and this multiphase project will not only completely replace the existing distressed 216 units with modern, energy efficient housing, but will also add 375 new apartment homes to the site that will be available to households across a range of incomes."

The development will include 41 one-bedroom, 121 two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom apartments of which 22 units are reserved for families with incomes up to 30% area median income (AMI), 79 up to 50% of AMI, 29 up to 60% AMI, and 38 will be moderate-income units up to 80% AMI. Replacement public housing units will continue to have rent calculated as a portion of income to ensure deep affordability.

"Our robust State Public Housing portfolio is an incredible asset, and we are thrilled to see the transformation of Clarendon Hill begin, thanks to the dedication of the Somerville Housing Authority, POAH, and community partners," said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. "Affordable housing that meets the needs of all our neighbors makes our communities more resilient and inclusive. We look forward to implementing this model of innovative, creative public-private partnership to revitalize more public housing across Massachusetts to ensure our low-income families, seniors, and adults have access to this vital part of our safety net."

The project is funded under the Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities (PEHO) program, and includes an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, construction funding from Bank of America, funding from the City of Somerville, and approximately $1 million in POAH financing. MassHousing is providing $3 million of Workforce Housing Initiative funds and a $1 million Capital Magnet Fund commitment.

About POAH  

Preservation of Affordable Housing is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that owns and operates nearly 13,000 affordable homes at 130 properties in 11 states and the District of Columbia. For more information at

About MassHousing

MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Media Contacts

Liberty Square Group
Emma Balaguer