Housing Incentives and Plans

Housing Development Incentive Program

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) describes the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP), established as M.G.L., Chapter 40V, as a program to “provide Gateway Cities with a development tool to increase residential growth, expand diversity of housing stock, support economic development, and promote neighborhood stabilization in designated geographic target areas.”

The HDIP program provides tax incentives to developers looking to construct new, or rehabilitate existing, properties for lease or sale and make them available as multi-unit market rate housing. The incentives include:

  1. A local-option real estate tax exemption on all or part of the increased property value resulting from improvements (the increment), and
  2. State tax credits for Qualified Substantial Rehabilitation Expenditures (QSREs) that are awarded through a rolling application process.

For more information on eligibility and the application process, please visit the HDIP website.

Transformative Development Initiative

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) is a redevelopment program for Gateway Cities designed to enhance local public-private engagement and community identity; improve the quality of life for local residents; and spur increased investment and economic activity. Efforts are focused on 10 locally identified, strategically located TDI Districts, which were chosen in 2014. The program is organized around three distinct programs authorized by the legislation:

  1. “Technical Assistance Program,” TDI Assistance, provides tailored, third-party professional services managed by MassDevelopment, community-building placemaking projects called TDI Places, and the TDI Fellows Program, which provides professional staff to work with local TDI District partnerships;
  2. “Equity Investment Program,” TDI Investment, through which MassDevelopment will make equity investments in real estate within TDI Districts; and
  3. “Business Growth Tools” program, primarily through TDI Cowork which supports the emergence and expansion of collaborative workspaces to support innovative activities and catalyze business development.

In the Merrimack Valley Region, the City of Haverhill was identified as a TDI District in Development to address the Merrimack Street Corridor. For more information, please visit the Haverhill TDI Urban Design Study.

Chapter 40R and 40S (Smart Growth Zoning & School-Cost Reimbursement Programs)

Together, Chapter 40R (the Smart Growth Zoning and Housing Production Act) and Chapter 40S (the Smart Growth School Cost Reimbursement Act) of the Massachusetts General Laws encourage municipalities to establish new overlay zoning districts to promote housing production and smart growth development. Chapters 40R and 40S provide direct and indirect financial incentives to communities to adopt these inclusionary zoning overlay districts. Under 40R, the direct incentives consist of two types of payments:

  1. Zoning Incentive Payments: Upon final approval of a district, a municipality is eligible for a zoning incentive payment. The amount of the incentive payment is based on the potential number of new housing units that can be constructed in the district. This is defined as: the maximum number of units possible under the 40R overlay zone minus the total number of units permissible in the underlying zone.
  2. Bonus Payments: A community will also receive a bonus payment of $3,000 for each unit of new housing unit built pursuant to the Smart Growth Zoning which is payable once the building permit has been issued for the housing unit.

For more information on Chapter 40R, including an update on 40R District Activity in the Commonwealth, please check out EOHED’s Community Planning Site, Massachusetts Smart Growth Toolkit, or visit the Chapter 40R Regulation.

Chapter 43D – Local Expedited Permitting

Chapter 43D offers communities a tool to promote targeted economic and housing development on Priority Development Sites identified by the municipality by offering an expedited permitting process. The local benefit is that it:

  • Provides a transparent and efficient process for municipal permitting
  • Guarantees local permitting decisions on priority development sites within 180 days
  • Increases visibility of a community and target development site(s) identified by the community

The Chapter 43D Program is under review in 2016. Please check EOHED’s Zoning and Permitting Site for the latest updates on the status of this Program.


  • Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
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    Haverhill, MA 01830
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    f: 978.372.4890
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