Newspaper Archive of
Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
March 15, 2013     Cape Gazette
PAGE 16     (16 of 116 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
 
PAGE 16     (16 of 116 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
March 15, 2013
 

Newspaper Archive of Cape Gazette produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2018. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.




Mix of funds goes to fix Sussex houses By Ron MacArthur ronm@capegazette.com A 2007 study revealed there are nearly 3,000 substandard owner-occupied homes in Sus- sex County- more than 5 percent of all homes - that need repairs totaling $30,000 or more just to bring the homes up to code. An- other 3,400 homeowners are at risk of not having enough money county's 650-page application, said Brad Whaley, director of county community development and housing. Additional funding from the county budget provides money for emergency repairs. The county has a waiting list of i,200 houses - 400 in towns and 800 in unincorporated areas - in need of repairs. Annual funding covers more than 100 projects each year; about 75 percent of to afford needed repairs, last year's work is complete. To Every year, staff in Sussex qualify for the program, a house County's community develop- must be owner-occupied, taxes ment and housing department must be current and it must be the homeowner's primary resi- dence, In addition, homeowners must be in low- to moderate- income levels to qualify. The whittle down a long list of houses needing repair. Thousands of of Sussex County houses would continue to have leaking roofs and windows, plumbing prob- lems and substandard heating department has a $25,000 cap on systems without the county's block-grant projects and a $7,500 repair program, maximum on emergency repair Sussex County is entering the projects. final stages of another Dela- In the Cape Region, the county ware Community Block Grant has applied for $80,000 for five cycle. Over the past 10 years, housing rehabilitations each in the county has used $12 million West Rehoboth, Mount Joy and in block-grant funding to repair . Coolspring. This year's applica- more than 1,600 homes, tion also includes $105,000 for six This year, the county has projects in Milton. applied for $2.8 million to re- The county is still repairing habilitate 137 homes, provide 20 damage - especially to roofs - sewer hookups and assist with a caused by the twin blizzards in sidewalk project in Georgetown. 2010, said Mike ]ones, project About half of the requested fund- manager. ing is likely to be awarded to the The housing department will county after the Delaware State have an additional $150,000 in Housing Authority reviews the emergency rehabilitation fund- ing thanks to funds remaining from a budget surplus, "This will be the most money in any one year we've ever had to work with," Whaley said. "If the economy improves, I hope we can make more money available," said Councilwoman Joan Dearer, D-Rehoboth Beach. Staff in the county's hous- ing department coordinates all projects, including those in 13 municipalities. For the first time, $30,000 will be used to conduct a planning study to determine where hous- ing rehabilitation needs are the greatest, Whaley said. The county's community development and housing de- partment conducted a series of public hearings on the block- grant application in each of the county's municipalities followed by a Feb. 19 county-wide public hearing at the Feb. 19 county council meeting. During the hearing, Ken Smith, director of the Delaware Hous- ing Coalition, commended the county for its ongoing rehabilita- tion work. He said there are a large number of Sussex County home- Cape Oazette owners - especially those on fixed incomes - who have trou- ble maintaining their houses. lone said repairs to a house go beyond assisting one family. "It ends up helping the whole com- munity," he said. For those who don't qualify for the block-grant program, the county's housing department coordinates funding assistance for homeowners and landlords through a 3 percent housing re- habilitation loan program. For more information on the county's housing department, phone 855-7777. RON MACARTHURPHOTO ASA SUBCONTRACTOR for the county block-grant program, a crew from McMillan Construction puts in a new ramp at a home along Fisher Road be- tween Milton and Lewes. Workers are (I-r)Redgia McMillan, Bobby McMil- lan and Derek Thomas.