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  • Writer's pictureOffice of Rep. Vargas

State Housing Secretary Augustus Gets First-Hand Look at Haverhill’s Housing Crisis at Vargas Roundtable

(This is an excerpt from a WHAV story authored by WHAV reporter Tim Coco.)

Haverhill’s—and the state’s—housing crisis came clearer into view Wednesday when state Housing Secretary Edward M. Augustus heard about residents unable to afford homes or stay in the city.

State Rep. Andy X. Vargas, who sponsored the roundtable, said Haverhill is “leading on the housing crisis” with its permitting and building of units, but Augustus is taking it from there.

“Everyone agrees we have a crisis, but not everyone agrees on what the solution should be, and he’s creating that consensus and creating a path forward, that’s how we get there,” he said.”

Vargas praised the CommonWealth Builders program, which in 2021 brought 10 units of new housing to the site of the former St. George’s Catholic Church in Mount Washington. He explained developers can get up to $250,000 per unit that they build. Vargas also suggested it is the right program for a vacant lot owned by developers of Harbor Place in downtown Haverhill.

“That’s what I would like in that hole in the ground there, CommonWealth Builders. You have riverfront property here where folks in Haverhill could build some equity in a property that’s right on the riverfront,” he said.

Read the rest of the WHAV article here.

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