Del. Announces New Affordable Housing Initiatives Using ARPA Funds

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Delaware is unveiling several new programs to develop and create more affordable housing, utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Governor John Carney said Thursday that the Delaware State Housing Authority will start and administer programs that involve acquisition and rehabilitation of vacant houses, provide additional financing for owners of affordable multi-family rental projects who have faced increases in construction costs, and other funding initiatives. The DSHA and its partners plan to host public meetings to obtain community feedback, starting later this month.
Carney has also announced more than $28-million in ARPA-backed housing initiatives that are designed to improve current properties through rehabilitation and expand homeownership opportunities. These include Kimmeytown Revitalization in Georgetown, and leveraging USDA funds for developing affordable rental housing units for workers in the poultry industry.

“We are investing in affordable housing development across our state so that more Delaware families have access to safe, affordable housing,” Carney said. “We are using ARPA funds to make sure these affordable housing construction projects get through the finish line, support more Delawareans in becoming homeowners, and revitalize communities that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to members of our federal delegation and President Biden for providing these important resources through the American Rescue Plan Act.”

“DSHA is committed to stewarding these funds efficiently and transparently. With these historic investments, our state is firmly positioned to meet the critical needs of Delawareans across the state,” DSHA Director Eugene Young Jr. said. “Whether you’re looking to rent, buy, or develop, we look forward to working in partnership with you to make Delaware a better place to live.”

Project highlights:

Sussex County – $9.9 million

  • NCALL Land Bank – $4 million to purchase property in Sussex and Kent counties for future affordable housing development.
  • NCALL – $2.9 million to leverage $5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the development of 40 affordable rental housing units for poultry industry workers.
  • Sussex Habitat for Humanity – $3 million to assist with Kimmeytown Revitalization in Georgetown, develop an Affordable Homeownership Creation project that will construct approximately 27 new affordable homes, and additional smaller projects.

Kent County – $6.9 million

  • Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing – $5 million to acquire and develop three properties in Dover to address blight and homelessness.
  • Milford Housing Development Corporation – $1.9 million to assist nearly 70 individuals in achieving homeownership through their homeownership programs and projects.

New Castle County – $11.5 million

  • Todmorden Foundation/Woodlawn Trustees – $4.5 million to provide seniors in the City of Wilmington with additional affordable housing options.
  • Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank – $4.5 million to address blight and provide revitalization to the houses around the new Bancroft School.
  • Wilmington Housing Authority – $1.5 million to rehabilitate homes in the City of Wilmington and address blight.
  • Southbridge Beautification – $1 million to address blight and provide repairs to more than 50 homes.

DSHA will create the following programs as part of this initiative, and will administer the programs through 2026:

·        Catalyst Fund (Expected launch: Summer 2022) – Creating and preserving affordable homeownership opportunities through the acquisition and rehabilitation of vacant homes in Delaware’s neighborhoods. These funds will be administered in partnership with Cinnaire, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that offers lending options for community development construction.

Cinnaire will offer construction lending by leveraging ARPA funds to incentivize for-profit and nonprofit developers to purchase, renovate, or replace vacant and blighted properties. The for-profit or nonprofit developer will receive ARPA funding as part of their construction project financing so that the cost of the new or rehabilitated home remains affordable to low-income residents.  

·        Market Pressure Relief Fund (Expected launch: Summer 2022) – Relieving economic cost pressures on Delaware’s affordable housing development community. This will provide additional financing to owners of affordable multifamily rental projects currently under construction that have faced construction cost increases due to supply chain disruptions and inflation to ensure these projects are completed.

·        Accelerator Fund (Expected launch: Fall 2022) – Leveraging once-in-a generation funding available to unlock Delaware’s development potential. The Accelerator Fund will provide an incentive to market-rate rental developers with planned construction projects to provide affordable rental units in their new or renovated properties. The developer will receive an upfront payment from DSHA, funded by ARPA, which will offset construction costs. As part of the funding agreement, the developer will commit to an affordable monthly rent for a specified number of units in a project that would otherwise be exclusively market-rate. This new program will also provide additional funds for traditional affordable rental developers that qualify for the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

·        Preservation Fund (Expected launch: Spring 2023– Ensuring enduring affordability in Delaware’s existing affordable housing stock. These fundswill offer financial incentives to ensure nearly 1,000 existing affordable rental units eligible to convert to market rate instead remain in the affordable rental inventory.

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