DSHA Celebrates Liberty Court Renovations and 20 Years of Moving to Work

DOVER – Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) held an event today marking the completion of renovations at Liberty Court, a public housing site in Dover, and recognizing the authority’s 20th year participating in Moving to Work (MTW), a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program. Many of the residents at Liberty Court participate in the MTW program.

DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi was joined at the event by Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, State Senator Trey Paradee, Liberty Court residents and Moving to Work participants.

“The achievements we are celebrating today are just two examples of the hard work our staff and partners do each day to provide Delawareans with stable, affordable housing,” Director Ben Addi said. “We are proud of our accomplishments and will continue finding ways to improve our public housing sites and help more of our residents become economically self-sufficient.”

U.S. Senator Tom Carper added, “I commend DSHA for its efforts to revitalize the Liberty Court housing site and for achieving this great milestone of 20 years with the Moving to Work program. DSHA should be proud of all the work they have done to give its Liberty Court residents a new place to call home and for the two decades they have spent guiding hundreds of Delawareans to financial stability.”

“The work DSHA is doing to provide quality affordable housing for residents of our state is crucial, and I am honored to celebrate these two important achievements with Director Ben Addi, his staff and partners,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. “I know DSHA will continue to make great strides both in providing its residents with beautiful places to live and in helping more Delawareans achieve economic self-sufficiency through the Moving to Work program.”

The Liberty Court property was built in 1974 as a privately-owned and market-rate apartment complex and was purchased by DSHA in 1989. From 1990 to 1993, DSHA substantially rehabilitated the property and created 108 public housing subsidized units.
In 2015, an internal inspection on one of the buildings at Liberty Court found areas of moisture within stucco on the exterior of the building was causing the interior walls and framing of the building to swell. When other buildings at the property were inspected, similar issues were found. At the time, it was determined that a major rehabilitation of the property was needed to correct the problem.

Construction at Liberty Court began in July of 2017 and was finalized in November 2018 with all 100 units leased. Renovations included: demolition of all residential buildings and construction of new buildings on existing foundations; installation of Energy Star compliant high-efficiency appliances in all units; an open concept design in the living rooms and kitchens; installation of hickory kitchen cabinets, black appliances, ceiling fans, vinyl plank flooring and sprinkler systems in all units; repaving and striping of parking lots; and installation of a new security camera system, sidewalks and dumpster enclosures on the property grounds. The renovation project did require DSHA to lower the number of units at Liberty Court from 108 to 100 in order to provide a new fire lane at the complex in compliance with fire marshal requirements.

DSHA decided to pursue the support of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to finance the renovation project. RAD allows for more funding flexibility including the use of tax credits and other public funds to maintain and improve public housing.

The cost of renovations at Liberty Court totaled nearly $18 million with financing provided through the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and DSHA’s Affordable Rental Housing and HOME programs. WSFS Bank also provided bond financing totaling $10.1 million and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank Pittsburgh) provided $650,000 through its Affordable Housing Program.

“At WSFS Bank, we are committed to helping organizations like DSHA do great work within our communities, and we are proud to support the housing authority in its latest efforts to renovate Liberty Court,” said Robert Matsko, vice president of commercial real estate. “DSHA has created a beautiful housing site that its residents will enjoy for many years to come.”

“We are privileged to partner with DSHA on this project to breathe new life into the Liberty Court site,” said Winthrop Watson, FHLBank Pittsburgh’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We recognize the value of the work DSHA does for Delawareans and are proud to support its efforts with this funding.”

Friday’s event also celebrated 20 successful years of DSHA helping Delawareans become economically self-sufficient through the MTW program. In 1999, HUD chose DSHA as one of 24 public housing agencies in the country to participate in MTW. Today, DSHA is one of just 39 public housing agencies, out of more than 3,400 total in the country, to participate in the MTW program.

MTW is a demonstration program that provides public housing agencies with the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally-designed strategies. The program has three distinct goals: reducing costs; providing incentives for families to obtain employment and self-sufficiency; and increasing housing choices for low-income families.

Participants are allowed five years to successfully complete the MTW program. In those five years, participants pay rent totaling 35% of their adjusted monthly income. DSHA creates an escrow account for the resident and invests all rent paid over the 35% limit into that savings account. The participant is then required to work a certain number of hours each year of the MTW program and must complete a financial literacy course. At the end of the five years, if they have successfully completed all requirements, the participant then has access to 100% of the escrow account and can use that money to find housing at fair market rent or to buy a home.

Shantel Emory, a former MTW participant who successfully completed the program in 2018, was able to use about $7,800 saved during her five years with MTW to purchase a home in Magnolia.

“The MTW program gave me the financial stability I needed to achieve my goals and find secure housing for my family,” she said. “Without this program, it would have taken me several more years to save enough money to buy my first home. I am grateful DSHA offers this program in our state.”

Since 1999, DSHA has disbursed more than $3.3 million in Moving to Work savings to 995 families who successfully completed the program. Of those families, 698 moved into fair market rental housing and 297 bought a home. MTW often pairs well with DSHA’s homeownership programs, which can provide homebuyers with low-interest mortgages and down payment and closing cost assistance.


$3.2 Million Awarded to Strong Neighborhoods Projects

 

DOVER – Seven projects statewide will receive $3.2 million from Delaware’s Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund to address vacant, abandoned or foreclosed properties, Governor John Carney announced today joined by Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen and elected officials and community leaders from across Delaware.

The Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund is used to support community development, address crime and transform neighborhoods that are experiencing blight or other forms of stress. Through the program, abandoned properties are removed, renovated or replaced and sold to low-income residents who then become homeowners.

This is the third round of funding since the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund was launched in 2015. The investment of $3.2 million will leverage an estimated $9.4 million in private or other funding sources and lead to more than 60 new or rehabilitated housing units in Wilmington, New Castle County, Dover, Milford and Georgetown.

“Many of the communities in our state continue to feel the ripple effects of the recession and the foreclosure crisis,” said Governor Carney. “The Strong Neighborhoods program provides organizations working in these communities the resources to acquire abandoned properties, renovate or remove them and build beautiful homes in their place. The funding announced today will directly impact families by improving communities and providing increased access to homeownership.”

“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 DSHA Director Ben Addi.

The housing projects chosen for funding in this round, listed by jurisdiction, are:

 Wilmington

  • Central Baptist Community Development Corporation (CBCDC): $500,000 to address and rehabilitate 10 vacant properties in the city’s East Side Neighborhood. This project is a joint effort between the CBCDC and Cinnaire Solutions.
  • Cinnaire Solutions: $450,000 for acquisition, demolition and new construction of nine long-term vacant properties on the 600 block of W. 8th Street in West Center City. This project is a partnership between Cinnaire and the Delaware Valley Development Company, a long-standing Delaware-based affordable housing developer.
  • Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank (WNCLB): $505,000 to acquire and demolish 10 or more vacant properties on the 600 block of N. Jefferson Street in West Center City. This project supports the same neighborhood of vacant properties as the Cinnaire project.

 New Castle County

  • New Castle County Department of Community Services, $400,000 to continue revitalization efforts along the Route 9 corridor. Funds will be used to purchase and renovate four blighted and vacant homes in the Collins Park community and four additional homes in the distressed community of Edgemoor Gardens.

 Dover

  • NCALL Research, $500,000 to support 10 newly constructed homes in the Restoring Central Dover target area within the Downtown Development District (DDD). This is a partnership between NCALL and Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity.

Milford

  • Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC), $350,000 to support seven newly constructed or rehabbed homes. This work will take place in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Milford where several DDD projects are already underway.

Georgetown

  • Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, $500,000 to identify and acquire 10 properties in the Kimmeytown neighborhood. Two properties will be sold to the MHDC to reconstruct or rehabilitate.

The CBCDC in Wilmington will use Strong Neighborhoods funding as they continue efforts to improve the East Side of the city. “The East Side community has historically faced low home ownership levels and high levels of vacancy and blight. This funding will have a significant impact on stabilizing this neighborhood and creating greater opportunity for homeownership in an area that has previously seen few homeowners,” said Rev. Dr. Terrence Keeling, President and CEO of the CBCDC.

In Dover, NCALL and Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity will use Strong Neighborhoods funding to continue efforts to address dilapidated properties within neighborhoods around Queen Street, North New Street and North Kirkwood Street. The target area is made up of 75 blocks within the downtown Dover area with a homeownership rate of just 25 percent. “Dover is grateful to the Governor and DSHA for their support of our efforts to strengthen city neighborhoods,” said Mayor Christiansen. “With these funds, we can continue to address these blighted properties and give residents of these communities the opportunity to become homeowners.”   

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity will use their $500,000 award to improve the Georgetown neighborhood known as Kimmeytown. “Many of the homes in this part of the town are dilapidated and in need of significant repair, with overcrowding and absentee landlords creating a stock of vacant and blighted housing. Working with the Kimmeytown Partnership, this funding will allow us to completely transform this area,” said Kevin Gilmore, executive director of the Sussex County Habitat for Humanity.

Since the launch of the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund in 2015, $11.25 million has been awarded to organizations throughout the state, leveraging an estimated $34.2 million in private and other investment. The program was initially funded using one-time bank settlement dollars and is now funded with a $3 million allocation in the FY 2019 state bond bill. Including the awards announced today, the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund has provided resources to remove, renovate, or replace more than 230 blighted properties throughout the state.


Delaware Homebuyer Fair Set for April 13

WILMINGTON, DE – Families and individuals who want to learn more about buying a home can get a wealth of information at the free Delaware Homebuyer Fair scheduled for Saturday, April 13 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. Running from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the fair offers educational seminars on every aspect of buying a home in Delaware, as well as the chance to connect with service providers in the real estate, financing and home buying fields.

Celebrating its ninth year, the annual event typically draws between 350 and 400 people. Registration details and a complete agenda are available on DSHA’s website.

“The Homebuyer Fair offers a great opportunity for people at all stages of the homebuying process to get all the information they need,” said Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi. “We make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to become better prepared and feel comfortable with buying a home.”

Seminars will cover topics such as finding properties, obtaining low-cost financing, down payment assistance, home inspections and maintenance and budgeting.

“As a mortgage lender, I’m a proud supporter of the Delaware Homebuyer Fair,” said Kevin Jornlin, past president of the Delaware Mortgage Bankers Association. “The fair provides valuable information for potential homebuyers and connects them to countless resources throughout the state.”

Attendees can earn credit toward HUD Homebuyer Education Certificate requirements.

Registration is free and breakfast and lunch are provided. Attendees can register at www.destatehousing.com or by calling toll-free at 888-363-8808.

The Homebuyer Fair is presented by the Delaware State Housing Authority in partnership with the Delaware Federation of Housing Counselors. Sponsors include 92.9 TomFM, Andrea Harrington Realty Group, Caine Mitter & Associates, Cozen O’Connor, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, FHLBank Pittsburgh, George K. Baum & Company, Guaranteed Rate, Inc., Greenberg Traurig LLP, Hilltop Securities, Lakeview Loan Servicing, Meridian Bank Mortgage Center, Office of Attorney General Kathy Jennings, $tand By Me, Team Stewart Realty, Trident Mortgage Company and Xfinity (Comcast).

 


DSHA and FHLBank Pittsburgh Announce Home4Good Funding Awards

WILMINGTON (January 28, 2019) – Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) and Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank Pittsburgh) announced today $1.2 million in Home4Good funding awarded to programs across the state working to reduce homelessness. DSHA provided $500,000 toward the effort, and FHLBank Pittsburgh provided $700,000.

The funding will be used to address four key areas: homelessness prevention, homelessness diversion, rapid re-housing and innovation. Thirteen programs from 10 organizations in the state received funding.

“We are privileged to partner with DSHA and our member institutions to provide these much-needed funds to programs working to end homelessness in Delaware,” said Winthrop Watson, FHLBank Pittsburgh’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “This is part of a comprehensive initiative in which more than $7 million in Home4Good grants have been awarded to support 80 programs across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”

Home4Good was created by FHLBank Pittsburgh and is being administered by DSHA. The funding announced today is being distributed as grants to organizations that help individuals retain or find housing, provide supportive services to those facing homelessness or address other unmet needs within the existing homeless provider network.

“DSHA is pleased to be a part of this initiative to reduce homelessness in Delaware,” said DSHA director, Anas Ben Addi. “All of the organizations receiving funding through Home4Good are doing worthwhile work to address this important issue in our state, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

Lutheran Community Services, the host of Monday’s announcement event in Wilmington, received $115,000 in Home4Good funding for their work to prevent homelessness in New Castle County. The funding will be used to provide financial assistance to low-income Delawareans facing eviction and will help individuals and families pay utility bills, rent, mortgages, or security deposits.

“Sometimes a single payment is all that stands between a family staying in their home and being homeless,” said Rob Gurnee, executive director of Lutheran Community Services. “We are thankful for the funding under this program to help prevent homelessness for those who are most vulnerable.”

U.S. Senator Tom Carper added, “The work being done by DSHA, FHLBank Pittsburgh and the many Delaware financial institutions and service organizations involved in the Home4Good program is a testament to the power of partnership in focusing energy and resources toward a common good.”

Governor John Carney praised the organizations receiving Home4Good funding for their work to help individuals and families find and retain housing in Delaware. “I commend these organizations for their commitment to addressing this important issue in our state with programs that are effective and innovative. The funding announced today will go a long way to benefit Delawareans who are facing homelessness.”

Senator Carper and Governor Carney were joined by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester at today’s event announcing the Home4Good funding awards.

Information about Home4Good is available at www.fhlb-pgh.com and at www.destatehousing.com. Organizations interested in future participation in the program can contact Kate Swanson at kate.swanson@fhlb-pgh.com or Jessica Eisenbrey at jessica@destatehousing.com for details.

The Home4Good funding recipients are:

Focus Area Organization Program Name Target Area Funding Amount
Rapid Re-Housing        
  Catholic Charities Rapid Re-Housing Service Statewide $50,000
  Family Promise of Northern New Castle County Rapid Re-Housing, Pathway to Housing New Castle County $100,000
  Ministry of Caring Rapid Re-Housing Statewide $100,000
  People’s Place Rapid Re-Housing Kent County $80,000
  YWCA of Delaware Rapid Re-Housing Statewide $100,000
Homelessness Diversion        
  Family Promise of Northern New Castle County Shelter Diversion – Pathway to Diversion New Castle County $50,000
  YWCA of Delaware YWCA Diversion Program New Castle County, Sussex County $50,000
Homelessness Prevention        
  Catholic Charities Basic Needs Statewide $50,000
  Rehoboth Community Resource Center Homelessness Prevention Kent County, Sussex County $115,000
  Lutheran Community Services Homelessness Prevention New Castle County $115,000
  West End Neighborhood House Statewide Security Deposit Program Statewide $90,000
Innovation        
  Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. Legal Aid for Eviction Defense Statewide $225,000
  Sussex Community Crisis Housing Services Housing Locator Sussex County $75,000

 

About FHLBank Pittsburgh

FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to ensure the flow of credit and services to local lenders and assists them in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate. Each year, FHLBank sets aside 10 percent of its net income for Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants, which are awarded to project sponsors on a competitive basis. FHLBank Pittsburgh launched the Home4Good program in 2018 as a voluntary initiative to supplement AHP and provide funds to meet the needs of an at-risk segment of the population.  To learn more, visit www.fhlb-pgh.com.

 

About 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 is 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 (302) 739-4263 or visit DEStateHousing.com.

 

Contact: Jessica Eisenbrey, DSHA Public Relations, 302-739-0271


Governor Carney: “When we revitalize and bring back neighborhoods like this and strengthen neighborhoods across our city, we’re strengthening our state”

Carney attends ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking for Phases I and II of Flats Redevelopment

Phase II of Flats Redevelopment in Wilmington
Governor Carney joins in the groundbreaking of Phase II of the Flats redevelopment.

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney today helped celebrate progress toward housing redevelopment in the Flats neighborhood in Wilmington. Phases I and II of the Flats project, being redeveloped by the Todmorden Foundation and the Woodlawn Trustees, were supported by $6.5 million from Delaware’s Housing Development Fund, overseen by the Delaware State Housing Authority.

“First and foremost, this is about a community on the West Side – a strong community in our city,” said Governor Carney. “It’s about the people who live there. It’s about workforce housing. But to put a housing project together like this takes a big team and a big partnership. It should go without saying that as goes the City of Wilmington, so goes the State of Delaware. And when we revitalize and bring back neighborhoods like this and strengthen neighborhoods across our city, we’re strengthening our state. I want to thank all of the people who made this project possible, and I want to congratulate and thank the people who will live in the Flats.”

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