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Delaware Headlines

US Dept of Housing and Urban Development highlights launch of new initiative in Wilmington

Amala Way II
Quinn Kirkpatrick
/
Delaware Public Media

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development visited Wilmington to highlight a new effort to boost the nation’s affordable housing supply.

The Our Way Home initiative focuses on housing supply successes in local communities, while connecting those communities to the resources needed to produce affordable housing.

HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman visited Amala Way II, a housing project in Wilmington that’s part of that initiative, to recognize efforts made in New Castle County.

Those efforts include work by Habitat for Humanity and Wilmington’s $50 million residential redevelopment and stabilization plan funded by ARPA dollars.

Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County CEO Kevin Smith says it’s important to shed light on the urgent need for more housing.

“In Delaware we are short over 15,000 units of affordable housing," Smith emphasized. "So it’s important that everyone understands the great urgency around this issue.”

He adds access to safe and affordable housing creates lasting benefits, including helping kids do better in school, and improving the health of parents.

And Sen. Chris Coons says when the country doesn’t have enough housing available, it leads to homelessness and trauma.

“If there’s housing available that’s affordable then when there are sudden crises or tragedies, someone’s home is lost in a fire, they’re in a car accident and they can no longer access the housing they were in before- they’re newly disabled- or they have an unexpected change in their economic circumstances, they lose their job and can’t make their rent. If you’ve got affordable housing available, those challenges don’t produce homelessness,” explained Coons.

He adds when families were displaced after the sudden condemnation of 27 units in Wilmington last month, they faced homelessness due to the lack of housing available.

It was only due to local resources, such as New Castle County’s Hope Center, and family and friends willing to help that affected families found temporary housing.

Smith notes that Delawareans looking for housing, or to volunteer, can visit Habitat For Humanity’s website at habitatncc.org.