State Approves Subsidies for Bethany’s Planned 62 Apartments, ‘Merrimack Place,’ in Haverhill

Bethany Community Services’ proposed “Merrimack Place,” a 62-unit apartment complex in downtown Haverhill. (Courtesy rendering.)

Bethany Community Services’ proposed “Merrimack Place,” a 62-unit apartment complex in downtown Haverhill, received the backing of the state Thursday.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and others said Bethany’s 100 Water Street project, to be built adjacent to its existing Merrivista complex, is one of 28 affordable housing projects to receive a state subsidy. The administration awarded $93.3 million in direct subsidies and allocated $45.8 million in federal and state housing tax credits in support of these projects.

“As Massachusetts continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we continue to prioritize new affordable housing development to help our most vulnerable families,” said Baker during a ceremony in Lawrence. “Stable housing is the foundation of healthy, prosperous communities, which is why our administration has proposed an immediate infusion of nearly $1 billion in federal recovery funds to rapidly increase capacity for production in every part of the state,” he added.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development will support Merrimack Place with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidy funds. The City of Haverhill is also providing money in support of the project. All 62 units will be affordable to seniors earning less than 60% of area median income with eight units further restricted for seniors earning less than 30% of area median income. Extensive on-site services will be available to the new residents of Merrimack Place as well as to residents of the larger senior campus.  The sponsor intends to build the project to Passive House standards, which requires very little energy to achieve a comfortable temperature year-round.

In Lawrence, an approved project is 608 Broadway, a historic adaptive re-use mill project by Trinity Financial, which will provide 87 total units.

“We are proud to support an excellent project here in Lawrence, another step in an amazing transformation of the Arlington Mills National Historic District into a thriving residential neighborhood, zoned for up to 1,000 housing units,” said Polito.

Kennealy said, “Solving our housing crisis helps all of our households, enabling our working families to put down roots in communities, stabilize vulnerable families and provide opportunities for cities and town to grow.”

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