Executive - Press Release

Posted on: June 27, 2017

New Castle County marks 75th home purchased through innovative workforce housing program

Claymont, DE – New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer, County Councilman John Cartier, county government housing staff and housing advocates visited Claymont’s Darley Green on Monday to mark the 75th purchase of a home through New Castle County’s innovative Workforce Housing Program, a public-private partnership that creates new homeownership and home rental opportunities for moderate income residents without County, State or Federal taxpayer funds. This voluntary program provides density bonuses and waivers to builders in exchange for designating additional workforce housing units that remain affordable through deed restrictions for an extended period of time.

“Darley Green is a great example of a housing partnership that works,” said County Executive Matthew Meyer. “Builders and your local government have collaborated to increase quality, affordable places to call home. And today we are proud to celebrate the 75th home purchase under this program.”

Locally-administered housing programs that rely on federal housing funds are required to limit eligibility to residents who make 80% or less of the area median income, or just over $66,000 for a family of four living in New Castle County. The County’s Workforce Housing Program is available to those earning up to 120% of area median income, or about $99,000 for a family of four, expanding access to a much larger number of residents who earn too much to qualify for traditional local, state and federal housing assistance programs but who find themselves priced out of affordable housing in New Castle County.

“I am pleased to celebrate our 75th homeowner purchase through a homeownership program that is linked to the earning power of people who live and work in New Castle County,” said County Councilman John Cartier, whose district includes Darley Green. “I am especially proud to celebrate that success right here at Darley Green, a pioneering planned community and our first walkable architecturally controlled project that brings its residents within walking distance of retail, parkland and a library and in close proximity to the number one commuter rail station in our area. I look forward to building upon this momentum to provide sustainable homeownership for our county residents in the years to come.”

“Due in part to the courageous and persistent leadership of New Castle County, including County Councilperson Penrose Hollins, laws and policies have been enacted to greatly expand inclusionary zoning and fair housing choice in New Castle County,” said Romona Fullman, Director of the Delaware Division of Human Relations and the State Human Relations Commission, which administers the state’s fair housing laws and works to further fair housing. “Our successful efforts to meet this goal require effective relationships with partners who recognize inclusionary zoning as a viable market-based strategy for increasing affordable housing and creating mixed income communities. I commend New Castle County for its continued progress in this regard.”

“Darley Green is serving as an anchor for a revitalization of the Claymont area,” said Brett Saddler, Executive Director of the Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation. “We take so much of our progress for granted but it is important at times like this to pause and celebrate the work that has been done over the past two decades, from saving historic structures, to the construction of the new county library and other contributions to Claymont’s rebirth.

“I see first-hand the frustration that many of our buyers face when looking to purchase a new home,” said Robin Chase, Sales Manager for Montchanin Builders at Darley Green. “With funds needed for down payment and closing costs, although they are credit worthy and can afford the monthly mortgage payments, the dream of homeownership is impossible because they do not have “out of pocket” funds. The Workforce Housing program through New Castle County is allowing people who never thought they could afford a new home to finally do so! It is a simple application process and our team of financing and sales professionals are here to help you every step of the way!”

Through the leadership of County Council members Penrose Hollins and John Cartier and then-County Executive Chris Coons, New Castle County’s Workforce Housing legislation was adopted in the spring of 2008, just before the Great Recession brought housing construction to nearly a standstill. As the housing market improved over the following years the first Workforce Housing homes were constructed in 2013 and the first purchase was completed that August. Interest in the program among residents and builders has increased substantially in recent years and as of today 75 homebuyers and 101 renters have secured housing through the program. A total of 447 housing units have been approved for construction through this program, including those already constructed, and since the first four resident applications were accepted in 2012 the total number of resident applications has grown to 480, including more than 180 in the last year alone.

When the project is fully built, Darley Green will feature more than 100 moderately priced homes available for sale to residents who are eligible through the New Castle County Workforce Housing Program.

Visit www.nccde.org/workforcehousing for more information or call 302-395-5611.

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Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462

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