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In the News

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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May 2022
In the News

New partnership gives seniors help with home repair

Delaware Health and Social Services introduces a new pilot program that helps seniors along the Route 9 corridor in New Castle repair and upgrade their homes.

The Healthy Homes program will help older residents make minor repairs and improve safety and accessibility.

It’s a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County that addresses everything from mold, to yardwork or accessibility ramps.

State Rep. Franklin Cooke represents much of the Route 9 corridor. He said upgrades like this are key to help older Delawareans stay in their homes.

“They need help. Contractors sometimes take advantage of folks, especially those who are aged. This is a way we can get things done for our seniors,” Cooke said.

Cooke said the partnership with Habitat for Humanity ensures seniors get quality work done from trustworthy contractors.

[read more on Delaware Public Media]

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May 2022
In the News

DHSS to Partner with Habitat for Humanity on Pilot Program for Minor Home Repairs for Older Delawareans

Healthy Homes Program Will Begin in Route 9 Corridor

NEW CASTLE (May 19, 2022) – During Older Americans Month, the Department of Health and Social Services’ (DHSS) Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) on Thursday announced a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County to support its Healthy Homes Program as a way to support older Delawareans to age safely in their own homes.

DSAAPD will provide funding to allow Habitat for Humanity to expand Healthy Homes to older Delawareans as part of a pilot in New Castle County. Healthy Homes addresses home health hazards in order to keep homes dry, clean, ventilated, pest-free, contaminant-free and maintained. The program helps low-income homeowners impacted by age, disability and family circumstances reclaim their homes with pride and dignity.

The pilot, which will begin in the Route 9 Corridor just south of Wilmington, was announced Thursday during an event at the Rose Hill Community Center near New Castle. Officials said the pilot will help gauge the need for funding for similar services in central Delaware and Sussex County. A state senator who represents the pilot area was instrumental in bringing the possibility of such a partnership to Delaware.

“Our progress as a state can be measured by how we treat our most vulnerable residents,” said state Senator Darius Brown, D-Wilmington. “With 1 in 5 Delawareans over the age of 65, we have a responsibility to make sure the people who raised us, who provided for us and who worked hard to create a better world for us to inherit are well taken care of in their senior years,” he said. “I want to thank the Delaware Division of Aging and Habitat for Humanity for answering the call with a creative, community-focused partnership that will provide direct care to our most vulnerable seniors where they need it most – right in their own homes. I look forward to seeing older residents in the Route 9 Corridor get the helping hand they deserve, and I hope to see this program expanded to other deserving seniors elsewhere in our state very soon.”

[read more at Delaware.Gov]

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