Lottery for Affordable Harbor Place Apartments Opens to Public

Artist’s Merrimack River view of new Harbor Place apartments, 44 Merrimack St.

Haverhill is hoping existing city residents take advantage of an opportunity to move into the new Harbor Place apartments on Merrimack Street.

More than 50 units of affordable housing will be available through a lottery now taking place through Oct. 4, Andrew K. Herlihy, community development program director, announced at Tuesday’s Haverhill City Council meeting.

“We want to do a better job of getting local applicants,” Herlihy told councilors during a suspension of the rules to allow an item not previously posted on the agenda. He explained the lottery, conducted by Peabody Properties, just went live and he wanted to ensure local residents have ample time to apply. There is a preference for either existing Haverhill residents or people who work for Haverhill businesses.

As WHAV reported last December, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership—a quasi-public agency—requires more than half of Harbor Place’s apartments to be designated as affordable for 51 years as a condition of financing. Apartments available by lottery include 33 two-bedroom, 17 one-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments, Herlihy said. He said the housing project is exciting since “no one lives on Merrimack Street right now.”

The apartments at 44 Merrimack St., divide affordable units between a “Merrimack Project” and a “Riverfront Project,” with six units. All other apartments will be rented at market rates.

Applications are available online at or in the mayor’s office and community development division at City Hall; Haverhill Housing Authority, 25 Washington Square; or the Hayes Building, 14 Granite St. Applicants may also call 781-794-1000. For those interested in learning more, there will be informational meetings Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 4 and 6 p.m., at Haverhill Public Library. A model apartment is expected to be available for public viewing in September, Herlihy said.

Haverhill Now Exceeds 10 Percent Affordable Housing Stock

The additional low- to moderate-income apartments at Harbor Place pushes the city over the 10 percent threshold required by the state to avoid issuance of comprehensive permits to developers, Herlihy said. His remarks came in response to a question posed by City Councilor Andy Vargas.

Those permits, allowed by the state legislature in 1969 to address a shortage of low-income housing, allowed developers to bypass zoning restrictions. Chapter 40B, as it is known, permits more densely packed housing on smaller parcels.

9 thoughts on “Lottery for Affordable Harbor Place Apartments Opens to Public

    • Actually, a Mayor job is to protect CITIZENS of his city who are taxpayers and foot the bill for everything. A Mayor is not supposed to be a glorified community organizer – we just dumped that experiment in Washington.

    • That’s driven by your skill set – if you have no marketable skills, then $15 per hour is very generous ( + benefits I’m sure). You have to temper your expectations. In the United States you used to basically have 20% down before you could even THINK of buying a home….somehow, people did it.

      But that was before Bill Clinton and his ilk rewrote the Community Reinvestment Act, which told people they were ENTITLED to own a home even if they had NO MONEY, proving once again, that liberalism is a mental disorder.

  1. The city is running out of water and what does the fool in the corner office do? He adds more demand to the already limited supply.

    Literally EVERY day there is yet another issue that comes up of how incompetent this mayor is.

  2. “pushes the city over the 10 percent threshold required by the state to avoid issuance of comprehensive permits to developers” –

    The Fish Family is thankful for this too. No one thought their money against 40B reform years ago was coincidence did they? 40B is their bread & butter, and a ton of properties owned by their family right here in Haverhill. Oh, that no-bid Harbor Place? Fish Family built.

    “Peabody Properties” – Fish Family owned ($80K in Beacon Hill political campaign contributions)

    “More than 50 units of affordable housing will be available” – Going to need it at the rate home ownership is dropping in Massachusetts, but The City of Haverhill doesn’t need to be the leader in Massachusetts for welfare recipients do they? Is the city not poor enough already? That burden is already straining city resources, including our public schools. We don’t see the crony capitalistic developments in the Westons, Wellesley’s, or Dover’s of the state do we?

    Oh well, Brian Dempsey and his cronies on Beacon Hill certainly have a special and financial bond ($275K via Suffolk Construction & $1250 for Brian via Dellbrook Construction) with The Fish Family, it’s too bad it comes at the expense of The People who have to live here in The City of Haverhill.