At Home In Amesbury

At Home At Amesbury LogoAmesbury is a wonderful place to live! Our vibrant downtown surrounded by diverse neighborhoods and natural areas lends a small-town feeling, while our location in the growing Merrimack Valley and on the regional highway system provides easy access to a wide range of jobs and services. Current residents want to stay in Amesbury, while others want to move here because they are attracted to the City’s thriving downtown, resources, and quality of life.

At the same time, Amesbury—along with the region and the state—faces a crisis as housing needs outpace the production of new housing units. This imbalance threatens our community’s future in a number of ways: young people who grew up here cannot afford to remain or move back; municipal staff are priced out of the local housing market; and local businesses have difficulty attracting or retaining employees.

Affordability isn’t our only housing issue; a diversity of housing types and locations is also important. Diverse housing options support our schools and our commercial establishments and provides opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to live here. Smaller units are needed both by young adults starting out and by older residents who want to downsize and remain in the community. Creating housing in a variety of locations —rural, suburban and downtown – is also desired and is similar to how Amesbury has grown over the years. 

To address these housing-related issues, the City created the AT HOME IN AMESBURY campaignWe want young people, older adults, people with disabilities, families of different sizes and forms, municipal employees and others, to feel at home in Amesbury with housing that they can afford and that meets their needs. This citywide effort to meet the need for more housing, especially affordable housing, is currently underway. This effort includes:

  • Researching policies that encourage the creation of additional housing;
  • Updating studies that provide a roadmap to the production of housing; and 
  • Supporting several housing development projects in the pipeline.

“Affordable housing is a critical cornerstone in attaining a secure life and future, and life changing events as job loss, long-term illness, emergencies, retirement and aging should not force people such as myself to be on a waiting list for years to gain access to proper affordable housing. ”  
- Kathy Troiano, Amesbury Resident

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  • Amesbury’s 2018 Housing Production Plan (HPP) includes policies and programs to help achieve the City’s commitment to providing affordable housing. The HPP must be updated every 5 years, and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission is currently working with the City on the next update to reflect changing needs and trends.
  • The Amesbury Affordable Housing Trust is charged with developing new and managing existing affordable housing units. The Housing Trust has a separate fund outside the general municipal budget, that is dedicated to solely to creating and preserving affordable housing. 

  • The City has an Affordable Housing Ordinance that requires housing projects with more than 7 dwelling units to include at least 15% of the units as affordable housing.
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“One issue growing at an exponential rate all over the Commonwealth is the economic divide between minimum wage and the cost of affordable housing. Affordable housing in Amesbury isn’t a “should do”, or a “can do” it’s an absolute “must do” and we as community leaders must make every effort to show the rest of the State that affordable housing is the key to increasing economic mobility and reducing generational poverty.“ - V/r, Craig J. Bailey, Chief of Police