New Habitat home to house Dover family

DOVER — Dover resident Alicia Jarvis always envisioned having her own home.

“It’s been a long journey,” she said.

On Wednesday morning her dream finally became a reality.

That’s when Ms. Jarvis, along with the Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity crew, raised the wall on her new home at 30 S. Kirkwood St.

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Alicia Jarvis raises the wall on her new home on South Kirkwood Street in Dover. At right, she watches the construction progress with her three children, Sanai Daniels, Eric Sumlin Jr., and Mekki Jarvis. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

She will move in with her three children once it’s completed.

“I’ve been a single mother for 22 years,” Ms. Jarvis said. “I’m so overjoyed. This has given me a lot of time to reflect on all the hard work it has taken to get where I am today.

“I can’t wait to move in,” she added. “It’s an exciting time for my family and I.”

It’s the first of eight homes scheduled to be built in 2016 by the CDHFH, with two to be on South Kirkwood Street, one on South Queen Street and five on North New Street.

CDHFH is looking forward to continuing to work within the Downtown Development District to help increase home ownership in the city.

The downtown program, administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority, was created by legislation proposed by Gov. Jack Markell and passed unanimously in May 2014 by the General Assembly.

In January 2015, Gov. Markell designated the downtown areas of Seaford, Dover and Wilmington as Delaware’s first three Downtown Development Districts.

In the first funding round, announced last April, a $5.6 million investment by the state leveraged $114 million in private investment in all three counties.

Last year Central Habitat received $75,150 from the downtown program, which helped build five affordable homes for low-income individuals on Kirkwood Street in Dover.

Last month during the second round of funding, CDHFH received $85,165 for construction of five new homes on North New Street.

The homes are sold to low-income homebuyers.

Dovr Mayor Robin Christiansen said it’s important to increase homeownership throughout the city.

“I’m happy that they decided to target our downtown area for people who need homes,” Mayor Christiansen said.

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Alicia Jarvis along with her three children Sanai Daniels, Eric Sumlin Jr and Mekki Jarivs are the new owners of a new home on S. Kirkwood Street in Dover.

“Homes are where memories are made and we’re going to continue to work with Habitat, so like a phoenix we can have the downtown area rise from the ashes.”

Ms. Jarvis said she already was preparing to be become a homeowner before she filled out the application.

“I was preparing for two years,” Ms. Jarvis said. “Once I figured out that Habitat was the right program for me, I went and just did it. They helped me a lot.

“I applied, turned in my information, went through the process and I was lucky enough to get chosen,” she said.

“I waited about three to four months. I had the mindframe of trying to buy a home, which consisted of me saving and not causing any more debt.”

Habitat houses are sold to families at no profit and financed with affordable, non-interest loans.

Applicants must have lived and worked in Kent County for at least one year, show need for housing and demonstrate a capability to pay the mortgage.

Each house will have a mortgage that must be paid, but Habitat works with applicants to ensure they are financially stable.

Anas Ben Addi, director of the DSHA, said he hopes to continue to encourage more people to become homeowners.

“It’s not a housing issue, but more of social economic issue,” Mr. Ben Addi said. “Rather than turning our back and acting like everything is fine we have chosen to face it, as the city of Dover is committed to this area.

He said the market can’t recover by itself and it’s important that everyone gets involved moving forward.

“That’s why you don’t see private investors jumping in here because they can’t make any profit,” Mr. Ben Addi said. “That’s why we have public subsidies that are coming to us, the city and other partners to make the deals work.”

Ms. Jarvis said becoming a homeowner isn’t a tough transition if one is prepared.

“You have to be in the mindframe of being credit-worthy, save your money and pay off old debt,” Ms. Jarvis said. “That helped me out a lot and I know having that mindframe can help other people out as well.”

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