Bevilacqua ‘Very Concerned’ About Lack of Haverhill Senior Housing

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier)

City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua tells WHAV Haverhill is in dire need of additional senior housing. (WHAV News photograph by Jay Saulnier)

As Haverhill’s senior population continues to live longer, healthier lives, housing has become a “desperate” need, says City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

During a recent Citizen Outreach Committee meeting, Haverhill’s former planning director urged a citywide discussion about the lack of senior housing—and how to remedy it.

As Bevilacqua tells WHAV, residents of all ages can benefit from additional housing.

“It also has a positive impact on the young population in Haverhill, because as seniors leave their apartments or single family homes, they then free those up for young families to come,” he said.

At the meeting, Bevilacqua and committee Chairperson Melinda E. Barrett received an update on available options from the Haverhill Housing Authority, and learned of the extensive research on senior housing being carried out by the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission.

Twelve percent of the population is over 60-years-old, Barrett told WHAV, citing MVPC statistics.

With limited federal funding available, Bevilacqua said all avenues are being considered to allow older residents to thrive in Haverhill. The president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, Bevilacqua is working with several area nonprofits as they evaluate locations for their own senior housing.

“The concern I have is that our population is aging,” argued the councilman. “It’s no secret: Everybody knows that we’re living longer, living healthier. We want safe, secure housing that’s affordable.”

The full City Council is expected to receive a briefing on senior housing in upcoming weeks, Bevilacqua said.