Carper, Castle Announce More Than $1.7 Million in Grants for Five New Housing Projects in Delaware

Honor the Village of Eastlake for National Recognition

WILMINGTON, DE – January 7, 2008 – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (DE), U.S. Rep. Michael Castle (DE), and Wilmington Mayor James Baker joined the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh this afternoon to announce more than $1.7 million in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant money to five housing developments in Delaware that will provide needed affordable housing while improving the conditions of properties and neighborhoods.

“We are delighted to participate in the funding of these important projects,” said John R. Price, the Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “There’s a very special community of partners in Delaware who work tirelessly to enhance communities and improve lives. We are privileged to be part of this community and, like everyone in Delaware, we appreciate the leadership and support of Senator Carper and Congressman Castle.”

These projects include the Clayton Court Apartments, Family Rescue Project, Fresh Start, Miller’s Row, and West Center City Homeownership Initiative.  These funds will be used for a variety of projects from providing shelter for homeless women and children to giving Delawareans the opportunity to become homeowners.

“There is a great need for safe and affordable housing in all of these communities,” said Sen. Tom Carper.  “These five projects are far-reaching and should serve over 170 families in Wilmington.  Investments like this will help to better not only the neighborhoods but the quality of life for residents and homeowners now and in the future.”

Additionally, the event was held at the Village of Eastlake, a former AHP grant recipient, which was named as the nation’s best affordable homeownership development by readers of Affordable Housing Finance magazine.  Built in the 1940s, Eastlake was a public housing development but had become a rundown and crime-stricken neighborhood.  After nearly a decade of work, Leon N. Weiner & Associates transformed this neighborhood into the Village of Eastlake, which now consists of 70 rental and 90 homeownership units.

“Homeownership is part of the American dream,” said Rep. Mike Castle.  “It is vital to our state to have affordable housing opportunities, and thanks to the efforts of various local organizations and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, we are helping hundreds and hundreds of Delawareans achieve that dream.”

FHLBank Pittsburgh, a Congressionally chartered wholesale bank using private capital, not taxpayer funds, distributes AHP dollars through its member financial institutions to community sponsors and project developers. With today’s announcement, the Bank has awarded approximately $8.5 million to build or rehabilitate more than 1,277 affordable housing units in Delaware since the start of the AHP in 1990 – empowering families and improving neighborhoods.

This year, the Bank judged grant applications on a revised set of scoring criteria that placed a premium on the category of Community Stability. The Bank awarded up to 25 out of 100 points based on how well a project reflects broader stakeholder involvement and community-wide interests. The greatest number of points was awarded to projects demonstrating strong local leadership and collaboration, that are located in an area with a quality community plan and whose features improve resident quality of life and act as a catalyst for accomplishing a community strategy.

Overview of Delaware projects being funded by AHP grants:

  1. Clayton Court Apartments, Wilmington, DE — In partnership with Delaware Valley Development Company, Cornerstone West will acquire and fully renovate this 72-unit apartment complex, now in substandard condition and deteriorating. According to a statewide housing assessment, Wilmington needs to add at least 345 newly-constructed or renovated low-income rental units to meet demand, a goal this project will help achieve. Thirty-eight million dollars has already been invested in the surrounding area to reverse a course of decline, and the new Clayton Court Apartments are designed as part of that turnaround effort. The City of Wilmington and Delaware State Housing Authority are among project partners.  $500,000 was awarded in AHP grants for this $14 million plan.
  1. Family Rescue Project, Wilmington, DE — With $500,000 in AHP funding from FHLBank Pittsburgh, sponsor Sunday Breakfast Mission will develop a 40-unit transitional housing facility to serve homeless women and children. The 30,000-square-foot development will include a common kitchen, medical offices, counseling space, a gymnasium and child play areas. The new project will be built adjacent to the existing Sunday Breakfast Mission site that has been serving Northern Delaware since 1893. A key feature of programming will be shelter-based substance abuse treatment.  The total project cost is $4.5 million.
  1. Fresh Start, Wilmington, DE — Gaudenzia Foundation will expand the supply of transitional supportive housing for homeless young adults with special needs through the rehabilitation of 5,500-square-feet of currently unused space at its Fresh Start facility, located at 604 W. 10th Street in Wilmington. This is the second and final phase of a project to renovate the property. Twenty transitional units of housing will be added, along with a kitchen and other interior modifications. The first twenty units will be reconfigured. Fresh Start is a long-term residential drug and alcohol treatment program for young adults (ages 18-25).  For this $2.2 million project, $500,000 will be provided in AHP grants.
  1. Miller’s Row, Wilmington, DE — Miller’s Row is a new seven-unit Habitat-built subdivision, one of the first of several projects to be undertaken in the neighborhood of Prices Run with Greater Brandywine Village Revitalization. GBVR started land-banking projects in the area with assistance from the City of Wilmington. Once a notoriously crime-infested zone, homeownership opportunities are now seen as a significant tool in creating greater area stability. Three-bedroom units with off-street parking will meet Energy Star ratings.  $87,500 in AHP funding will go toward this $805,000 development.
  1. West Center City Homeownership Initiative, Wilmington, DE — Working with City of Wilmington HOME funds, Interfaith Housing acquired 15 properties to develop in the West Center City neighborhood, three now completed and sold. Rehabbed townhomes will have restored facades and newly built townhomes will have brick facades to complement the 100-year-old urban architecture of the neighborhood. All twelve units will feature at least three bedrooms, energy efficient appliances and Internet access. $180,000 in AHP funds will be used for both new construction and rehabilitation work on this $2.9 million project.

With assets of more than $95 billion as of September 30, 2007, FHLBank Pittsburgh, a government-sponsored enterprise created by Congress in 1932, has 332 members across its three-state district of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is one of twelve FHLBanks, all cooperatively owned banks established to provide a steady stream of low-cost housing finance. More recently, the Bank’s mission has expanded to include financing for business startup and expansion as well as a variety of community and economic development needs.

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