Five Kent and Sussex communities will receive money for housing projects

CLAYMONT — Dover, Ellendale, Milford, Milton and Seaford were among seven cities and towns in Delaware that received part of $1 million from Delaware’s Housing Development Fund to help spur seven affordable housing projects statewide.

Gov. John Carney announced the awards on Wednesday and was joined by Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, elected officials and community leaders from across Delaware.

Anas Ben Addi

The HDF, Delaware’s housing trust fund, was created for the purpose of providing affordable, decent, safe and sanitary housing to very low-, low- and moderate-income households. Nonprofit developers or sponsoring agencies can apply for grants from the HDF to build new affordable housing, rehabilitate existing owner-occupied housing or for adaptive reuse of nonresidential buildings.

Six organizations will receive HDF funding in this round to create or rehabilitate a total of 24 homes around the state. Once the homes are complete, the organizations will then sell them to low- to moderate-income Delawareans.

“The organizations receiving HDF funding in this round are to be commended for their efforts to give more Delaware families a safe, affordable place to call home,” said Gov. Carney. “With the HDF, the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund and the Downtown Development Districts programs, we are working hard to transform Delaware’s communities and increase access to affordable housing and homeownership.”

Mr. Addi said the grants will help several families reach their dreams of home ownership.

“DSHA relies on our partners to help us provide more Delawareans with safe, affordable housing, and we are grateful for the dedication these organizations have shown to this mission,” he said. “With this funding, at least two dozen Delaware families will have the opportunity to become homeowners in communities throughout our state.”

Wednesday’s announcement took place at a property in Claymont being renovated by 2 Fish Home Renovations, an HDF award recipient organization that provides employment and job development opportunities for formerly incarcerated adults in New Castle County.

2 Fish partners with the Delaware Department of Correction and Delaware Technical Community College to provide a five-week construction training course while the prospective employees are still incarcerated. Once they are released from prison, they are prepared to start work with 2 Fish.

To date, 2 Fish has hired 20 formerly incarcerated individuals, including Jarrell Hawkins, who spoke at Wednesday’s event about working for the company.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities 2 Fish has provided me,” said Mr. Hawkins. “The training and work experience I have received from this organization will help me as I search for future job opportunities and advance my career.”

The affordable housing projects in Kent and Sussex counties that received HDF funding in this round, listed by jurisdiction, are:

Dover

Milford Housing Development Corp. (MHDC) will receive $200,000 to construct four homes in the Harmony Hill subdivision of Dover. Harmony Hill is a rural community located in a DSHA-designated Homeownership Opportunity Area. MHDC has completed roughly 25 homes in the vicinity of this neighborhood with many located in Harmony Hill.

The new homes will have a minimum of three bedrooms and two bathrooms and have approximately 1,200 square feet of living space. MHDC is targeting two homebuyers between 61 and 80 percent AMI and two homebuyers between 51 and 60 percent AMI.

Ellendale

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity (SCHFH) will receive $140,000 to construct four new homes in and around the Ingram Village development in Ellendale. SCHFH owns all four properties – two are located in Ingram Village and two are located just outside the entrance to the development. This will be the fifth phase of this development for SCHFH.

The new one-story ranch-style homes will be approximately 1,250 square feet and include three to four bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms depending on household size. SCHFH is targeting two homebuyers with income at or below 50 percent AMI and two homebuyers with income between 51 and 60 percent AMI.

Milford

Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity (CDHFH) will receive $100,000 to construct two homes in Milford. The proposed properties are currently unknown, but CDHFH plans to target homes in Milford’s Downtown Development District area.

The homes will include three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms with 1,440 to 1,482 square feet of living space. CDHFH will target homebuyers with income between 51 and 60 percent AMI and will provide a 30-year mortgage at a zero percent interest rate to all homebuyers.

Milton

SCHFH will receive $105,000 to construct three single-family homes in the town of Milton. SCHFH owns all three properties, and they are located at 210 Bay Ave., 417 Pine St. and 416 Cedar St. The completion of this project will provide necessary affordable homeownership opportunities in Eastern Sussex County, where there is currently a lack of affordable housing.

The one-story ranch-style homes will be approximately 1,250 square feet and include three to four bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms depending on household size. After completion, each home will be sold to one of SCHFH’s partner families. SCHFH will target one homebuyer with income at or below 50 percent AMI and two homebuyers with income between 51 and 60 percent AMI.

Seaford

Diamond State Community Land Trust (DSCLT) will receive $120,000 for the construction of four homes in the Governors Grant community located in Seaford. The targeted properties are located at 208, 210, 212, and 214 William Ross Lane. DSCLT currently owns all four properties.

The homes will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms and will include mobility features such as zero-step entries and livable interiors to meet the needs of underserved populations, such as persons living with disabilities. DSCLT will sell the homes for approximately $140,000, enabling them to reach households below 50 percent AMI. At least two of the four homes will be sold to households with members with disabilities.

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