Developer, Unable to Sell Low-Price Homes, Seeks Relief

Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A developer says he is unable to sell two low-priced homes and is willing to pay the city instead to remove the affordable housing provision of his permit.

The Haverhill City Council is expected to revisit its 2005 approval of a Bradford housing development’s affordable housing designation for two units which, according to the developer, would allow the homes to be sold at market rate.

Councilors are being asked Tuesday to approve a waiver of an affordable housing component under a definitive plan cluster for the Hale’s Landing development off Groveland Road, Bradford. Petitioner Hale’s Landing LLC seeks the waiver as the two units, among a 26 single-family home development, have not sold since the project was approved by the council in 2005. In return, the developer would pay the city a sum of $57,000 as well as “upgrade and enhance” trails and easement to an adjoining parcel “deeded to the city as part of the original approval process.”

“We believe that maintaining those two homes as affordable will continue to create an unnecessary economic hardship that is not in the best interests of the city,” Attorney Michael J. Migliori said, on behalf of Hale’s Landing, in a letter. “The city council has approved similar requests in the past and therefore this request is consistent with past practices of this council.”

Mayor James J. Fiorentini supports the proposal he said he has “been negotiating with them and am in agreement,” provided the improvement work “is completed by June 30, 2016.”

“This will allow improvements to be made to this area which is envisioned as a future section of the rail trail at no cost to the city,” Fiorentini said. “I recommend approval.”

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

2 thoughts on “Developer, Unable to Sell Low-Price Homes, Seeks Relief

  1. These types of developments are usually approved with the inclusion of the affordable housing stipulation. With this usually comes some type of local tax incentive which benefits the developer and increases their profitability. If the developer was given an incentive no way the city council should approve a waiver. The developer can’t have it both ways….they can’t take tax credits and then be allowed to back out of an agreement if the market price of homes changes and no longer works in their favor. That’s a cost of doing business for the developer that taxpayers shouldn’t get stuck paying, especially if they’ve already essentially paid to benefit the developer by providing the upfront tax credit. If there was a tax incentive provided in advance have the developer pay it back to the city, and then consider the waiver.

    • I agree. The city should also look at how hard did said developer try to sell these units. I find it hard to believe that in this economy you can;t move two affordable units in 10 years.