Welcome to Sussex County’s Community Development Block Grant Program. The primary goal of this program is to preserve the housing stock throughout the County. By rehabilitating substandard homes, it ensures the affordability of those homes in the future. The 2007 Delaware Statewide Needs Assessment classifies a substandard home as one that is deficient in at least two structural systems and in need of substantial rehabilitation in order to make them structurally sound, safe, and habitable. The same report estimated there were 2,926 substandard homeowner units in Sussex County (5.3% of all units) that would require $30,000 or more to bring up to code. There are also 3,398 households “at-risk” due to their inability to pay average rents or afford, on the average, the repairs needed to rehabilitate a typical substandard home.
The Community Development and Housing Department applies for funding on behalf of local municipalities who request assistance from the County. The Department’s funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Delaware State Housing Authority, and the Sussex County Council. The program guidelines narrow eligibility to those families of low to moderate incomes. The home must be the homeowner’s primary residence and must be a permanent resident of Sussex County.
The Department utilizes its funding as efficiently as possible to try and satisfy the 1,000+ names on their waiting list. However, due to the constraints of funding Sussex County is only able to rehabilitate approximately 150 homes each year. According to the Statewide Needs Assessment, Sussex County’s rehabilitation and demolition efforts have kept up with the slippage rate, so there has been no significant increase in the number of substandard units in the County since 2003.
If you are a contractor and interested in the rehabilitation of substandard homes, please contact the Department or complete the Contractor Data Sheet form. You may also check the News and Events section for the date of the next bid meeting.