New Castle County consistently earns top ratings as a “high-performing agency” for its administration of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher Program formerly called “Section 8.”
HUD’s evaluation of the county’s performance excellence is based on criteria such as fiscal responsibility and client success.
With county-provided training and assistance to ensure their success, 30 clients have made the life-changing move from subsidized housing to homeownership.
The Gordon Administration has focused housing assistance of various types in the Route 9 Corridor between Wilmington and New Castle, which has Delaware’s highest mortgage foreclosure rates, eroding the quality of life in the area.
The New Castle County Housing Programs annually receive $20 million in federal funds, helping more than 6,000 low-income adults and their children.
The New Castle County Neighborhood Stabilization Program separately has received $14 million in federal funds.
The program, as well as additional funding from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, buys blighted properties that are vacant due to foreclosure or abandonment and refurbishes them to strong marketability– typically with new roofs, new windows, new siding, new kitchens with all new energy-efficient appliances and on-demand hot water tanks that help reduce monthly utility costs.
Many such homes are in the Route 9 Corridor neighborhoods of Garfield Park and Overview Gardens. In the historic Dunleith neighborhood, Delaware’s first suburban subdivision created as an African-American community, 30 homes have been refurbished and sold in the program. Each new owner guarantees the houses will be owner-occupied at least 15 years – cutting turnover, raising stability, improving the quality of life for the entire neighborhood.
In June 2016 – designated as National Home Ownership Month – New Castle County celebrated the sale of the 100th house revived and sold through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Home sales themselves also have added to the program’s success, raising $11 million that was invested back into the program. The program has been widely supported, not only by area residents, but also more than $1 million in grants and donations.
New Castle County also offers a separate home-repair program to help lower-income homeowners stay in their houses and assistance with funds toward down-payments and settlement costs to purchase homes.
With funding from County Executive Thomas P. Gordon and New Castle County Council, the Innovative Development Empowerment Area (IDEA) Home Repair Program targets designated census tracts in the Christiana, Claymont, Newark, Newport and New Castle areas. Eligible owners may get help with repairs including heating, plumbing, sewer, water and electrical systems. The program also may cover roofing, siding, weatherization and accessibility modifications. Repair loans may be as much as $20,000 – with absolutely no interest charges.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The New Castle County Housing Rehabilitation Office at (302) 395-5698 has details about offered loans and additional information about the IDEA Home Repair Program, along with specifics about which census tracts are eligible at nccde.org/homerepair. (Offices in Wilmington at (302) 576-3000 and Newark at (302) 366-7030 handle programs within their city limits.)
The New Castle County Home Buyer Office has details about down-payment and settlement assistance for first-time homebuyers looking to purchase homes in New Castle County. For more information, contact Norman Spector at email@example.com or (302) 395-5618.
The New Castle County Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which buys, refurbishes and sells homes that are vacant due to abandonment or foreclosure, also has more information available from Norman Spector at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 395-5618.