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2023 Annual Impact Report

Home Builds HOPE


Welcome from our Chief Executive Officer

Dear Community,

I am happy to share with you the many endeavors that shaped our 2023 activities at Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County. Most importantly, our efforts aimed to ensure everyone we touch through our programs has a decent place to live. For example, we worked to address Wilmington’s affordable housing shortage by building 5 homes funded by local, state, and federal investors across New Castle County. That means these families are experiencing stability, less stress, freedom, and overall well-being from owning a home.

Through our Neighborhood Revitalization programs, we held community meetings, and projects provided leadership training, neighborhood clean-ups (Rock the Block), community awareness, and other planning activities that contributed to revitalizing neighborhoods on the East and Northeast sides of Wilmington. These activities were done one family, one block, and one street at a time as residents, Habitat staff, and volunteers worked together to repair, refresh, and restore the area where Habitat builds homes.

We were joined at our first Affordable Housing Summit by HFHI CEO, Jonathan Reckford, Senator Chris Coons and Dr. Andre M. Perry to further the dialog for more awareness about affordable housing. Along with the results from the Needs Assessment researched by the University of Delaware and funded by the DE Community Foundation on substandard home repairs, we are more energized to find ways to help families, especially seniors, across the County.  Thanks to new funding sources, we are continuing our efforts to provide more home repairs for older homeowners so they may age safely and comfortably.

Running the HOPE Podcast for two years is another achievement and is a beautiful way to engage with the community by sharing valuable information on affordable housing. Topics range from DSHA and the Mayor’s office housing initiatives and collaborations with Habitat to issues relating to the impact of family traditions on homeownership.

As we embrace 2024, we wish you all good health and wholeness. We are grateful for the support of those who have diligently provided us with donations of their time and/or treasure that have made a difference in our efforts.




Message from our President of the Board of Directors

This past year was undeniably a testament to Habitat’s commitment to bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We strive for this by providing financial education and working with homeowners, one at a time and on a very personal level, to set them up for successful home ownership. Since 1986 we have placed 291 families into new homes in New Castle County.

We are thankful for Habitat’s staff and volunteers who have continued to find additional ways to help support home ownership and build better communities. Initiatives such as our growing Critical Repairs Program, Almost Home (Rent to Own) Program, Rock the Block Community Projects, Affordable Housing Summit, Hope Podcast, and other community-oriented activities help us better fulfill our Habitat for Humanity mission.

Our team, along with partner funding and volunteer support, built twelve new townhomes on Wilmington’s Eastside. It brings us joy knowing that twelve families can gain stability and build wealth by owning their homes – empowering them with confidence and freedom of mind. The saying “teamwork makes the dream work” is an integral part of the home-building process that helps make the dream of homeownership a reality. Together, we are working hard to make the dream of home ownership possible for people across Wilmington and New Castle County. Thank you for your support and encouragement as we move into another year to serve a purpose that benefits our Habitat families and community.





Home Builds Wealth and Stability

Homeownership is considered the best path toward building long-term wealth; building wealth is an integral part of providing financial stability for individual homeowners and the economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home equity and retirement accounts makeup 60% of a household’s net worth, reflecting homeownership’s relevance. NAR also found that a typical homeownership’s net worth is 40 times higher than a renter’s. Furthermore, homeownership helps establish better financial habits. For example, paying a monthly mortgage gains equity while debt decreases, allowing wealth to grow over time, which can be used in several different ways (second mortgages, (Money.com). Stability is a consequence when the mindset focuses on using wealth as a vehicle to pass on to family no matter who you are given the right circumstances and opportunity. Habitat’s programs provide space for those who otherwise are not afforded homeownership.


Home Builds Safety

Home should be a place of happiness, hope, and peace. Home should offer a safe and stable environment that allows residents to thrive personally, professionally, and spiritually. It is a good feeling when you feel secure in your home. Settling down and getting to know neighbors gives an extra space for feeling free to come and go as you please with confidence that they are looking out for your property.


Home Builds Community

Communities and networks of support manifest whenever residents come together to build and improve the places they call home (HHEC). According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, neighborhoods where residents stay put for a long time tend to be associated with lower crime rates. Being a part of a community is bigger than caring for your homes, schools, and businesses; it’s caring for the needs of the individuals who inhabit it.


Home Builds Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Walls. Our mission is to raise them so a family can find comfort, security, an affordable place to call home. Walls. Our ethos is to remove them so that all can feel welcome, visible, respected, supported, and valued. Whether on a work site or in the workplace, we are committed to removing the visible and invisible barriers to opportunity and self-expression — barriers that limit a person, a family, or an employee from reaching their full potential. Wherever you find us, we stand tireless in our commitment to foster a culture where diversity, equity and inclusion are core to our thinking, strategies, and actions.

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has established four pillars to assist with our goal of creating an all-inclusive environment to offer support and awareness. Each pillar is designed to hit target areas to help improve diversified engagement, onboarding, diversified volunteerism, and diversified homeownership. These pillars are: Education and Awareness, Pipelining, Advocacy, and Inclusion and Belonging. To achieve these goals, the committee meets once a month to discuss new policies & procedures, identify and review shareable educational material and recognize calendar events to celebrate. This may involve having a guest speaker, utilizing training material from Habitat International, and participating in community events, social media posts and/or internal messaging.
All-inclusive for Habitat for Humanity NCC involves identifying areas of needed education and support, accepting physical appearance differences, recognizing socioeconomic and demographic differences, and talking about the difficult topics that some try to avoid, recognizing the silence and agony that some may suffer.



Impact On Our Partner Families

Shining Bright Spots In The Community


December 2023 - Received FHLB Grant for Aging in Place Initiatives

We received over $450,000 to address the needs of individuals who are in Aging in Place programs. This will help us make critical repairs for these individuals throughout Wilmington and New Castle County.


November 2023 - Partnered with Blenheim Homes on Simonds Gardens Homebuild

We completed a new home in Simonds Gardens in the Route 9 Corridor between New Castle and Wilmington in a collaborative effort with Blenheim, Wells Fargo and New Castle County.

“Ongoing commitment in Simonds Gardens has been multifaceted, encompassing new home construction, essential repairs, and wide-reaching neighborhood revitalization efforts.”- CEO Kevin Smith


October 2023 - Brandywine Street Beautification Project


A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Press Conference marked the completion of the project in October at 1100 Brandywine Street, Wilmington, DE. During our monthly community meetings with Northeast area residents, they expressed the need for a safe, ADA-accessible communal space for families to gather for barbecues and special events. We made it a part of our mission to bring this vision to fruition for residents in that community.


September 2023 - 25th Annual Golf Outing raised over $50,000

On September 14th, we welcomed over 120 golfers at Hartefeld National to raise money to build affordable homes. While spending the day outside playing golf, guests were able to enjoy sharing their love of Habitat NCC. To learn more about our Annual Golf Outing, click here.


August 2023 - Inaugural Affordable Housing Summit

We held our inaugural Affordable Housing Summit mediated by our CEO Kevin Smith with guest speakers:(left to right in photo) Dr. Andre M. Perry, Senator Chris Coons, and HFHI CEO Jonathan Reckford. This day involved tours of Wilmington builds and neighborhood revitalization projects. During the discussion portion of the evening, we addressed the current housing crisis and what Habitat is doing to address it in New Castle County and all over the world.


July 2023 - Bennett Point Groundbreaking

Habitat continued our efforts to address Wilmington’s affordable housing shortage by building 12 new townhomes on Wilmington’s Eastside. These new homes are funded by local, state, and federal investors. The Bennett Point project will create 12 NetZero energy efficient homes for first-time homebuyers and continue our targeted homeownership investments on Bennett Street.

“Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is proud to kick-off our next project on the Eastside with a groundbreaking ceremony.  We have made a long-term commitment to the revitalization of the Eastside through our three programs—creating homeownership, sustaining homeownership and neighborhood revitalization…” -CEO Kevin Smith


June 2023 - Announcement of $1.5 mil from Senate Appropriations Bill

We held our Annual Breakfast at Dupont Country Club. We heard from recipients of our programs who shared their gratitude with the entire room of how helpful Habitat has been in their lives.


May 2023 - Almost Home Program launched

We announced the launch of Almost Home, a new program to help more low-income individuals become homeowners. Made possible by funding from New Castle County and JPMorgan Chase, Almost Home is one of Habitat’s ways of creatively addressing New Castle County’s affordable housing crisis.


April 2023 - Rock The Block Meeting with Community Public Safety Initiative


In April, we hosted a “Rock the Block” Eastside meeting to discuss revitalization projects for a beautification project on Brandywine Street.  We spoke with community members about addressing the need for a safe space in the community alongside Culture Restoration Project Inc. and Community Public Safety Initiative


March 2023 - DoMore24 Delaware

Participated with numerous other non-profits and their cause in an effort to raise money to make an impact in Delaware, more importantly, the city of Wilmington and New Castle County.


February 2023 - Amala Way II Dedication

We gathered to celebrate the dedication of Amala Way II as Lovie Gray, Shyniese Quails, Jacqueline Lambert, and Kasene Lambert received the keys to their new homes.


January 2023-Neighborhood Revitalization Leadership Training

We held our leadership training at our office to discuss topics centered around building strong community leaders, understanding a sense of community, understanding social cohesion, and understanding collective action.

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