More Than 100 New Downtown Apartments to Receive Subsidies

More than 100 new housing units in or near downtown Haverhill are closer to reality with Gov. Charlie Baker’s endorsement of $72 million in housing subsidy funds across the state.

One advancing project would convert a former industrial building at 98-112 Essex St. into a mix of 62 affordable and mixed income housing and first floor commercial space. Another is the conversion of the former Gerson Furniture Co., 181 Washington St., into 44 affordable apartments with a preference for veterans. In 2015, Councilor William J. Macek acknowledged the more than decade effort to rehabilitate the Essex Street building.

“We’re actually replacing that center tooth that has been missing for so long. It will give us the better look that we need for completion,” Macek said.

Both projects, according to the governor’s office, will receive city money.

The boarded-up Chen building on Essex Street has been on the drawing board for more than two years. Haverhill city councilors unanimously voted more than two years ago to grant permits to Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative of Braintree. Seven units will be reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income.

The Gerson Building in Haverhill is sponsored by the nonprofit Coalition for a Better Acre. Eight of the 44 units will also be reserved for very low-income households.

Baker said 25 projects in 17 communities will receive $72 million in subsidies as well as other state and federal tax credits.

“Safe and affordable housing is a cornerstone to the success of our Commonwealth’s families, including access to job opportunities for many of our most vulnerable populations,” said Baker. “Through our combined efforts and investments to date, over 5,200 affordable housing units are being created, preserved or rehabilitated to support the growth of Massachusetts, our workforce, communities and families,” he added.

Besides subsidies, the state Department of Housing and Community Development is giving more than $28 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits, which will generate more than $180 million in equity for these projects.

6 thoughts on “More Than 100 New Downtown Apartments to Receive Subsidies

  1. Haverhill, the subsidized capital of the Northeast!!!!! And we expect to improve the economy of Haverhill by taking money from me and thee to give to other folks who can’t afford their lifestyle???? We need grants for this, and grants for that just to stay afloat. What a shame we cannot attract people who pay their own bills for a change.

    When all is said and done, we will still live in a substandard City!

  2. It seems to me it’s not a good idea to try to revitalize downtown and Shore up restaurants and business districts by adding hundreds of units with people who do not have disposable income to spend in downtown restaurants and businesses.

    The problem with downtown has always been that, it is full of housing, chiefly elderly, where people do not have disposable income.

    Here we go again. Just look at Harbor Place when you drive by do you want to put a business there with the people hanging out front?

    I won’t speak directly against veterans housing, but once again things are never as they seem. There are disabled veterans denied housing at Harbor place because they make $40 a year too much. Why would we want those veterans downtown when they have disposable income and served the country honorably? We would want them downtown because it makes sense on multiple levels. But, unfortunately that’s not what happens.

    • The same was done with tho other buildings like the Cordovan. Ask the police dept which building they respond to the most, yes, the cordovan. Police calls went up over 40% in one year in Haverhill. What is the common denominator ?

    • Liberals in Massachusetts devised a scheme where they literally legislated that multi-unit housing proposals provide minimum low income housing units in new projects. And to hell with all the social and financial implications those low income folks put on a neighborhood and community, and the groups they exclude. The low income mandated housing is essentially a State Legislated social welfare program which puts the burden on local cities and towns. Like with any liberal social welfare program it means “votes” for Democrats. What better way to fill communities across the state with liberal Democrat voters than to give them yet something else that is financially subsidized?

      And to think….many of these low income units are being given to people who are not even citizens of this country at the exclusion of the Veterans you mention. It’s absolutely disgusting!! That’s the Democrat Party for ya………

    • There’s the rub encapsulated: Disposable income.

      Haverhill attracts those with little or none, while enriching those who profiteer off that demographic, many at taxpayer expense. However, because that demographic (poor, fixed income,etc.) must SPEND, it keeps the door revolving at minimal levels. The folks making the money at taxpayer expense could care less (crony capitalism, graft), especially in HOUSING, while the rest of us have to deal with the consequences (i.e. lack of services, education).

      Veterans in particular have been sold a bill of goods that almost never come to fruition, there’s simply too many now with not enough money to go around, in a state and city over-leveraged with DEBT. Yes, some folks are doing their best work with what they have (i.e. John Ratka, John McDonald in Lowell), but it’s simply not enough in a state and city that would rather cater to illegals and supporting evermore poor (i.e. refugees, immigrants) that never assimilate or add anything except being a burden in the first place.

      We live in a state with some of the worst income disparity in the country, and the pols on Beacon Hill are not the only ones making it worse, they are here in this city. Americans (and Veterans) have to go without for the benefit of others, all the while lining the pockets of politicians connected crony friends and donors.