WILMINGTON, Del. – August 14, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) joined the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and WSFS Bank to recognize two grants totaling $196,000 that will help Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County in two revitalization projects: Prices Run and Simonds Gardens.
Prices Run is Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s largest project to date and part of a larger revitalization initiative centered on the brownfield site of Mill Stone. The project includes construction of nine townhome units at the corner of Vandever Avenue and Lamotte Street and the renovation of five existing units near the corner of Lamotte and E. 22nd Streets.
The Simonds Gardens project targets 14 homes in need of interior or exterior upgrades. The Simonds Gardens Blueprint Community team has worked closely with existing neighborhood homeowners to assess housing conditions in this post-World War II neighborhood where generations are starting to return to the community they grew up in.
Both projects are recipients of FHLBank Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants, which were awarded through WSFS Bank to Habitat of Humanity of New Castle County. The Prices Run project received $140,000 in AHP funding, and Simonds Gardens received $56,000.
”Every Delawarean deserves a safe, affordable place to live and raise a family,” said Congressman Carney. “These grants give families in our community a chance to improve their lives. They also provide other opportunities, such as homeowner education and lessons in financial management, which lead to success over the long term. I applaud the Federal Home Loan Bank and New Castle County Habitat for Humanity for their tremendous work, and welcome the families who will soon be joining the Prices Run and Simonds Gardens communities.”
Today’s award brings the total amount of FHLBank Pittsburgh AHP grants to projects serving lower-income and special needs individuals in Delaware to more than $11.6 million. Working with local financial institutions that assist sponsors and distribute approved AHP dollars, FHLBank Pittsburgh has so far helped fund 1,423 lower-income housing units across the state with a total development cost of more than $121 million.
Today’s grant award was recognized in a ceremony at one of the townhomes in the last phase of the Mill Stone brownfield site, which is near the Prices Run project in Wilmington. The two-bedroom unit is energy efficient with an open floor plan on the first floor, and tours of the townhome were available after the ceremony.
“We appreciate our partnership with FHLBank Pittsburgh and with WSFS Bank,” said Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, who spoke at today’s event. “The Affordable Housing Program is one of the most effective examples of public–private partnerships and the private sector commitment to affordable housing today.”
AHP funds are made available by FHLBank Pittsburgh to its member financial institutions. They, in turn, work with project sponsors to prepare applications for the funds, which are awarded in competitive funding rounds. Michael D. Skipper, Vice President and Community Development Manager at WSFS Bank, said, “As a Federal Home Loan Bank member, it is a privilege for WSFS Bank to sponsor Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County for these grants. Partnering together, we can fulfill our mission of strengthening our communities by providing quality, affordable housing so that families can reap the benefits of homeownership, and neighborhoods can grow and thrive.”
Also speaking at today’s event were Anas Ben Addi, Director, Delaware State Housing Authority, which also provided funding to both projects, and Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart of the Delaware State Department of Insurance and long-time advocate of affordable housing. David Buches, Peter Knight and Winthrop Watson, all from FHLBank Pittsburgh, participated in the event.
“Here in the First State, the role that our member institutions like WSFS Bank play is crucial in getting the money out the door,” said Winthrop Watson, FHLBank Pittsburgh’s president and chief executive officer, who spoke at today’s event. “They’re our eyes, ears and partners. It’s our members who help assess community needs, provide assistance with grant applications and deliver funding to project sponsors. They deserve much of the credit for the success of AHP,” Watson said.
About FHLBank Pittsburgh
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to assure the flow of credit and services to local lenders and assists them in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate. Each year, FHLBank sets aside 10 percent of its net income for AHP grants, which are awarded to project sponsors on a competitive basis
Albert Shields, Office of U.S. Congressman John Carney, 302-691-7333,
Kevin Smith, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, 302-652-0365,
Dave Buches, FHLBank Pittsburgh, 303-242-1257,