Our Mission

The mission of the Planning Office, a non-profit housing developer affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, is to serve as a catalyst for social justice through its work in housing development and neighborhood revitalization. The Planning Office is responsible for developing over 2,700 units of housing to date, channeling more than $625 million of investment into neighborhoods and towns throughout metropolitan Boston.

What's New

Uphams Crossing wins Best Family Development in the Nation!

Uphams Crossing, a new 80-unit affordable housing community developed by the Planning Office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Boston, has won the 2016 Affordable Housing Finance Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for Best Family Housing in the United States. The development was built on a former parish property and includes 20 units for previously homeless families. Read the announcement of awards here and read more about the project here.

Thank you so much for voting, and for all of your support!

Photo by Gustav Hoiland Continue Reading

Harbor Place Holds Lottery

A standing room only crowd witnessed the lottery for the 56 affordable workforce rental units at Harbor Place, which was held on Wednesday, October 19th. Over 1,150 applications were received for the 56 units, which are available for households earning from 30% to 110% of area median income. The incredible response to these units demonstrates the continued need for high quality affordable workforce housing in the area, and the team at POUA is excited that people will be able to call Harbor Place “home” within the next two months.

Check out the Eagle-Tribune’s article on how Harbor Place has inspired the city of Haverhill’s industrial growth. Continue Reading

Haverhill Gets First Look at Harbor Place Boardwalk

On September 23rd POUA and the Greater Haverhill Foundation held a tour of the Harbor Place boardwalk and a ribbon cutting ceremony with Rep. Brian Dempsey, Mayor James Fiorentini, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney of UMass Lowell, and local elected officials. The boardwalk along the Merrimack River off Merrimack Street was open to the public for the afternoon, and will remain closed until the project’s completion at the end of the year. About 200 people, along with the state reps and city councilors, participated in the walk along the boardwalk, showcasing the progress of the Harbor Place development and the connection between new and old pieces of the boardwalk. Harbor Place will house HC Media, a satellite campus for UMass Lowell and Pentucket Bank’s corporate headquarters in its commercial building. The second building includes 80 units of mixed-income housing, and first-floor restaurants and retail spaces.

(Video by HC Media) Continue Reading

Rental Housing Award Announcement

(photo L to R: Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, POUA President Lisa Alberghini, St. Francis House ED Karen LaFrazia, Governor Charlie Baker, Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay)

On August 15th Governor Charlie Baker announced that 26 projects will receive funding to create affordable housing, including 48 Boylston where the event took place. St. Francis House (SFH), the largest day shelter in Boston for the homeless, is Sponsor of the 48 Boylston project and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs is happy to be providing support to SFH as they work to convert the property. The development involves the rehabilitation of the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union into 46 units of affordable housing, 26 of which will be for people who have experienced homelessness or are extremely low-income.

Information on the Governor’s announcement can be found here, as well as in the below video:

Video credit: Governor's office
Continue Reading

Kennedy Apartments in Hanover Receive Funding

As part of Governor Baker’s announcement of awards on August 15th, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs received funding for Kennedy Apartments, its project submitted for funding in the 2016 rental housing round. Located in Hanover, this development will convert an existing building on the Cardinal Cushing campus in Hanover into 37 affordable units, 4 of which will be for DMH clients. With this long awaited last funding, POUA can now proceed to close on the financing and begin construction of this important project. Continue Reading

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POUA in the News


Officials Cut Ribbon at Merrimack Street Boardwalk Extension

Sep, 2016 - A ribbon-cutting ceremony in downtown Haverhill Friday marked a connection between new and existing portions of the Merrimack River boardwalk off Merrimack Street. The public and dignitaries, including Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Rep. Brian S. Dempsey and several city councilors, gathered for the ceremony behind Haverhill Bank, where an existing portion of boardwalk meets a newly constructed section extending to the rear of the ongoing Harbor Place development project. More


Harbor Place boardwalk impresses first guests

Sep, 2016 - More than 200 people took a stroll along the new Harbor Place boardwalk on Friday when the project’s developers hosted a sneak peak before the official opening at the end of the year. The tour was led by state Rep. Brian Dempsey, Mayor James Fiorentini and representatives from Merrimack Street Ventures, a partnership of the Greater Haverhill Foundation and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs that is building Harbor Place. More


Tour the new Harbor Place boardwalk on Friday

Sep, 2016 - Merrimack Street Ventures LLC, a partnership of the Greater Haverhill Foundation and the Planning Office for Urban Affairs will host a public tour of the new Harbor Place boardwalk on Friday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m. beginning at the Basiliere Bridge. The tour will be led by State Rep. Brian Dempsey, Mayor James Fiorentini and representatives from Merrimack Street Ventures. More


Harbor Place ‘Sneak Peek’ Takes Place Friday

Sep, 2016 - A public “sneak peek” of a new section of downtown boardwalk, behind the ongoing Harbor Place construction project, takes place Friday afternoon. State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey of Haverhill, House Ways and Means Committee chairman; Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini; and representatives from Harbor Place developer Merrimack Street Ventures will lead a tour beginning Friday, 1 p.m., from the Basiliere Bridge, Main and Merrimack streets, according to statement Monday. More


Downtown traffic trouble ends soon

Sep, 2016 - Downtown drivers and business people who have dealt with frequent road closures during the summer because of Harbor Place construction are being asked to be patient for a bit longer... William Pillsbury, the city's economic development and planning director, said the disruptions, as inconvenient as they might be, are a necessary part of the Harbor Place development project at the eastern end of Merrimack Street. More

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