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In the News

August 2022
In the News

The City of Wilmington Issues Mid-Year Update on its ARPA Neighborhood Plans

Community investment funds are being distributed and affordable housing efforts are underway with the involvement of minority contractors

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today issued a mid-year update on the City’s neighborhood revitalization plan, which is backed largely with federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Mayor said progress is underway on the City’s East Side, where the Administration’s citywide neighborhood efforts are initially focused on the area from 4th to 11th streets and Walnut to Church streets. Mayor Purzycki said progress is also being made regarding the Administration’s goal of ensuring that minority contractors, developers, and workers have access to the ARPA-funded projects and jobs being created through the rebuilding of City neighborhoods.

The City today also provided a summary of the ARPA appropriations that have been made thus far to various community-based organizations to further the Administration’s ARPA neighborhood revitalization goals as well as other goals, including community investment and building safer communities by reducing gun violence.

[read full article]

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July 2022
In the News

DNREC, Habitat for Humanity Partner to Create Green Space in New Castle County’s Simonds Gardens Community

On July 5, representatives from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlHabitat for Humanity of New Castle County (HFHNCC), New Castle County and the community of Simonds Gardens gathered to celebrate the completion of a project that transformed a vacant lot into an oasis of green in the city. Highlighting the new rain garden were DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, HFHNCC CEO Kevin Smith, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer and Jaywann Saunders of the Simonds Gardens Civic Association.

A week and a half before, on June 25, Habitat hosted a “Rock the Block” event in which volunteers from DNREC and HFH joined community members on the New Castle County-owned 50’x80’ lot to plant a rain garden and install new park benches to invite residents to sit and enjoy the newly-created green space. The project was also supported by a community grant from DNREC and the lot was provided by New Castle County.

“DNREC has a strong commitment to ensuring that all Delawareans, especially those in underserved areas, have equal access to green spaces where residents of all ages can enjoy being outdoors,” said Secretary Garvin. “Rain gardens not only allow the growth of green spaces without the need for watering or regular maintenance, they absorb excess water and can reduce flash flooding, which is especially important in city communities like Simonds Gardens with predominately impervious surfaces.”

[read the full article here]

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June 2022
In the News

Carper, Blunt Rochester Announce $1.5m to Provide Affordable Housing in New Castle County

WILMINGTON, Del. —U.S. Senator Tom Carper and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (both D-Del.) today announced a $1.5 million congressionally directed spending award to Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County to help its affordable housing program.

Carper, Blunt Rochester, and Habitat Executive Director Kevin Smith joined together at a Habitat for Humanity construction site in Wilmington to announce the funding, which will be used towards the construction costs associated with 15 homes, to serve about 45 individuals.

“For three decades, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has helped to give more than 280 families a safe place to call home. And at a time when too many Delaware families are struggling to find affordable housing, Habitat’s work couldn’t be more important,” said Carper. “I’m proud to announce more than a million dollars in funding today to help build more affordable homes for families in Delaware who need them. My thanks to Senator Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester for joining with me to help secure this funding, and to Kevin Smith with Habitat for his dedicated service to the First State.”

[click below to read the full article]

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June 2022
In the News

Federal officials say efforts in Wilmington are national example of how to address housing shortage

On a day where, nationally, federal officials unveiled an initiative to address the affordable housing shortage, efforts to provide such opportunities in Wilmington were highlighted as an example of what was achievable when all levels of government and community worked together for the greater good.

While U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Matthew Heckle noted June is a month where homeownership is celebrated, he called June 1st a “national day of action” to answer President Joe Biden’s call to “solve the housing supply deficit that our nation faces, and makes it so difficult for so many families to find, afford and keep a roof over their heads.”

“The problem is pretty simple, really. We haven’t built enough housing over the last several years. For too long, our supply creation has not kept up with the demand,” Heckles said. “By some estimates, I think the one that we trust most, we are down about 1.5 million homes in the country. Here in Delaware, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s report, there are 31 homes available for every 100 of the lowest income renters. There’s a shortage of homes–of affordable homes–in Delaware of 18,000 for the lowest income renters. These are Delawareans who earn $20,000 a year and generally spend over 50% of their income on housing costs. Our answer to that is to increase supply of housing.”

From the front yards of the Habitat For Humanity-built Amara Way II townhomes along Bennett Street in Wilmington–and across from the Amala Way I homes previously completed–HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman said everywhere she travels across the country, she’s heard from someone who’s had trouble accessing home ownership.

[read more on WDEL]

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June 2022
In the News

The power of housing: How new homes on Wilmington’s East Side aim to improve the community

The red brick rowhomes along Bennett Street on Wilmington’s East Side stand regally, recently poured concrete steps leading to brightly colored doors.

Residents here have placed flower pots and other greenery next to their stoops, and Ring doorbell cameras hang beside black mailboxes drilled into the new brick.

Across the street, five new homes built with the same materials are nearing completion, though the wood beams that make up front porches have yet to be painted. Still, the fresh timber stands in stark contrast to the wood planks that board up dilapidated homes just blocks away.

These Habitat for Humanity houses are not traditionally what one thinks of when picturing Wilmington’s East Side. Yet they’re indicative of the type of affordable housing the city and New Castle County are increasingly trying to build – to both revitalize the area and tackle the affordable housing crisis in Delaware and across the nation.

[read more on Delaware Online]

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June 2022
In the News

US Dept of Housing and Urban Development highlights launch of new initiative in Wilmington

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development visited Wilmington to highlight a new effort to boost the nation’s affordable housing supply.

The Our Way Home initiative focuses on housing supply successes in local communities, while connecting those communities to the resources needed to produce affordable housing.

HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman visited Amala Way II, a housing project in Wilmington that’s part of that initiative, to recognize efforts made in New Castle County.

Those efforts include work by Habitat for Humanity and Wilmington’s $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan funded by ARPA dollars.

Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County CEO Kevin Smith says it’s important to shed light on the urgent need for more housing.

“In Delaware we are short over 15,000 units of affordable housing,” Smith emphasized. “So it’s important that everyone understands the great urgency around this issue.”

[read more on Delaware Public Media]

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May 2022
In the News

Creating healthier homes in New Castle

The Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) is joining with Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County to launch a new pilot program aimed at keeping senior citizens in their homes, longer.

The Healthy Homes initiative was announced on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at Rose Hill Community Center and aims at making minor repairs and improvements for the health and safety of seniors.

State Senator Darius Brown said the new program is focusing on the Route 9 corridor.

“It’s about improving the safety for seniors as they age in place in their homes especially those things that are outdoor,” said Brown. “That the weeds and the grass and the sidewalks are fixed, that they’re breathing clean air, and they’re able to have a vibrant and dynamic life along the Route 9 corridor.”

Director Melissa Smith said supporting residents in their goal of aging with health and independence in the community of their choice is a priority at DSAAPD.

“This partnership with Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is a critical step in supporting Delawareans to safely age in their homes and communities by offering much-needed minor home repairs to help make that happen,” said Smith.

[read more on WDEL]

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