$2.755 MIllion Awarded for Strong Neighborhoods

February 12, 2015 – (Dover, DE) – Governor Jack Markell today joined Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi and Attorney General Matt Denn, along with other elected officials, to announce the recipients of $2.755M from the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund. Governor Markell has laid out a bold vision for Delaware by implementing a comprehensive approach to strengthening communities and rebuilding neighborhoods. In conjunction with Downtown Development District designations, which gives access to financial assistance for real property improvements, the newly created Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund (SNHF) is another incentive to invest in our future.

SNHF Governor Markell

Governor Jack Markell

Last year, Delaware received funds from the JPMorgan Chase Mortgage Settlement.  The General Assembly allocated $2.755M to DSHA as part of its FY 2015 appropriation to establish the SNHF. This revolving fund will support community development, address crime strategies, and transform neighborhoods that are experiencing blight or other forms of stress.

The funding was made available to organizations through a competitive application process in targeted Delaware areas. Applications were received from nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions, and for-profit developers partnering with nonprofit organizations.

Today, Governor Markell and DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi announced the four applications which were chosen for funding:
• Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity $672,191
• Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. $742,809
• New Castle County Department of Community Services $500,000
• Wilmington Housing Partnership $840,000
These funds will be used for the acquisition, renovation, and sale of vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties throughout the State.

Governor Markell said, “We talk a lot about teamwork and public-private partnerships.   The Strong Neighborhoods program is the perfect example of what we mean by that. Each Strong Neighborhoods application is a collaboration of multiple partners, with each partner bringing a unique skill to the table, whether it be counseling, construction, labor, or financing. Alone, they are worthy agencies, with proven track records. By partnering together, they will make a greater, more visible impact in our communities.”

Attorney General Matt Denn added, “This program is an excellent model of how my proposed plan to address the issues facing Delaware will work by using settlement funds to turn around our declining neighborhoods. Redevelopment not only creates safe and affordable housing, it also generates employment and financial stability–which reduces the root causes of addiction and crime.”

SNHF Group Photo

Representative Sean Lynn, Representative Trey Pardee, Representative Andria Bennett, Attorney General Matt Denn, DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi, Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat, Kent County Commissioner Bradley Eaby, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, Dover Councilman Wallace Dixon, Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jocelyn Tice, New Castle County Department of Community Services General Manager Sophia Hanson, Wilmington Housing Partnership Executive Director Steven Martin, New Castle County Council President Christopher Bullock, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. Executive Director Gary Pollio, HUD Regional Administrator Jane Vincent

“DSHA received seven applications requesting more than three times the amount of money we had available,” stated DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “We were only able to award four applications. This demonstrates there is a real interest in investing in our communities. We hope that the success of the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund will allow us to expand the program in the future to positively impact more neighborhoods.”

“This is an exciting time for the City of Dover, and I am thankful that we get to have an impact in a concentrated area by providing homeownership opportunities through Central Delaware Habitat, NCALL, and Milford Housing Development Corporation. Through our collaboration and commitment of others in the community, we will all work hard to create change in the downtown area,” commented Jocelyn Tice, Executive Director of Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity.
“It’s a good use of the settlement funds which will allow a lot of nonprofits to move forward with developments in at-risk areas. There’s a big gap in funding that’s missing. I applaud the Governor and DSHA for creating this pot of money. A lot of developers couldn’t afford to create housing in these areas without the funds,” said Steven Martin, Executive Director of Wilmington Housing Partnership.
To learn more about the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund, please visit http://www.destatehousing.com/Developers/dv_snhf.php or call DSHA’s Public Information Office at (888) 363-8808.
View more photos of the event at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/destatehousing/sets/72157650372377750/.

About the Delaware State Housing Authority
The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), formed in 1968, is dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. In addition to its role as the State’s Housing Finance Agency, DSHA is unique in that it also serves as a Public Housing Authority and acts as a Community Development and Planning Agency. As a Public Housing Authority, DSHA receives funding from HUD to build, own, and operate public housing in Kent and Sussex counties, two of Delaware’s three counties. For more information about the Delaware State Housing Authority, please call: (888) 363-8808 or visit our website at: www.destatehousing.com.