Dover, Milford entities receive $1.5M in grants to build new houses

WILMINGTON — Dover’s NCALL Research and the Milford Housing Development Corporation will receive a combined $1.5 million in funding for new houses from Delaware’s Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund on Monday.

NCALL will receive $1 million for 20 new housing units in Dover and Milford Housing Development Corporation will get $500,000 for 10 new units in Milford.

The money to be received by the Kent County entities is part of the Delaware Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund, which announced a total of nine projects statewide that will receive $5.5 million in funding on Monday to address building new or rehabilitating older housing units.

“This funding will directly help families, cities and towns across Delaware become stronger,” Gov. John Carney said. “When we put homes together, they become neighborhoods, safe places enriched by diversity where we collectively share in our cities’ growth and successes.

“When families step into houses, they become homes — residences of refuge, centers of companionship, locations of learning and places of worship. Home is where we celebrate our accomplishments and draw upon strength and support to face our challenges.”

The investment of more than $5 million in housing, which is being made in Dover, Milford, Laurel, Wilmington and New Castle County, will leverage an estimated $15 million in private or other funding sources.

All homes will be sold to families or individuals with incomes at or below 120 percent of the area median income.

“These projects will be helping families and individuals who need housing, while strengthening the neighborhoods in which they are located, revitalizing properties that have fallen into disrepair and bringing people back to live in them,” said Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi.

The money received by NCALL Research will help the organization with its Restoring Central Dover initiative in building new houses and restoring civic pride in the city’s Downtown Development District.

“The city of Dover is growing, it’s on the move, we’re revitalizing a lot of the old housing that we had and providing not just a place to stay for people, but a home,” Dover Mayor Robin R. Christiansen said.

“When you have people who have homes and a vested interest in the community it’s going to provide for pride in the entire community, as well as public safety.”

The MHDC will use $500,000 to create 10 new housing units in the city of Milford’s downtown area.

The effort is aligned with Milford’s Rivertown Rebirth 2025 plan, said Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe.

“Increasing homeownership will help strengthen our community and support our downtown,” he said. “Neighborhoods succeed because of the people living and working there, and we are pleased to partner in this effort.”

The Laurel Redevelopment Corporation also received $500,000 for 10 new housing units in Laurel.

Also announced was $475,000 in funding for the Vacant Property Maintenance Fund, which will help local governments clean up vacant and abandoned properties.

Wilmington will receive $175,000 and New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties will each receive $100,000.

The first round of funding from the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund was allocated in 2015, with $2.7 million going to build or rehabilitate 68 housing units in Wilmington, Dover and New Castle County.

Mr. Addi said that applicants requested more than $8.2 million, but not all projects could be funded.

“The level of interest remains high, showing the strong involvement and commitment that our partners and others have to supporting neighborhoods in need,” he said. “We hope that these successes will allow us to expand this effort in the future to even more communities in the future.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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