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.