Housing Counsel

Job Type
City of Somerville
Contact Name
Somerville Careers
Contact Email
Job Description

Statement of Duties

The Somerville Housing Counsel position is responsible for all legal work associated with the Housing Division of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OSPCD), and the initial and final review of certain OSPCD non-housing related contracts (CDBG public service and ESG grants through Economic Development). Employee is required to perform all similar or related duties.

Essential Functions:

The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

  • Researches housing issues and develops housing policy, in coordination with Housing Director and Program Managers and Housing Policy Coordinator.
  • Assists with oversight as to housing strategy implementation
  • Advocates for the City on a variety of housing related issues
  • Assists with Housing related ordinances and/or ordinance amendments and ensure implementation of ordinances relating to the Housing Division.
  • Reviews and/or produces promissory notes, mortgages, loan agreements, affordable housing restrictions, and other “MassDocs” legal documents
  • Reviews and/or produces Amendments to Loan Documents, Subordinations and Releases
  • Reviews Affordable Housing Implementation Plans
  • Produces Affordable Housing Restrictions, Deed Riders, Lease Riders, and Certificates of Compliance
  • Reviews Closing Cost and Down Payment Loan Documents, as well as Clean Green Somerville Loan Documents
  • Responsible for producing Housing Linkage Agreements
  • Works closely with all Housing Division staff
  • Serves as counsel to the Condominium Review Board, the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Fair Housing Commission
  • Supervises Housing Paralegal

Recommended Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Law degree and five (5) years experience.

Special Requirements

Admission to Massachusetts Bar

Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge: Knowledge of Massachusetts law, with knowledge of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, Community Preservation Act (CPA) and interest in housing-related issues useful. Familiarity with the Municipal Housing Trust statute also useful but not essential.

Ability: Ability to meet and deal with the public effectively and appropriately; ability to handle problems and emergencies effectively; ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing; ability to operate a computer; ability to maintain confidential information; ability to maintain, manage, and organize records; ability to deal appropriately with City employees, City officials and members of the general public.

Skill: Excellent organizational skills; excellent data processing skill in the use of personal computers and office software including word processing, database, internet, and spreadsheet applications.

Work Environment

The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments.

Physical and Mental Requirements
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills
Few physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. May also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment and computer paper (up to 30 lbs.)

Motor Skills
Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone, personal computer and/or most other office equipment including word processing, filing and sorting of papers.

Visual Skills
Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes.

Hours: Full-Time
Salary: $108,243.22 annualized, plus benefits
Union: Non-Union
FLSA: Exempt