About two dozen new or rehabilitated homes will be made available to Delawareans with low-to-moderate incomes through a grant program announced Wednesday in Claymont.
The money from the Delaware Housing Development Fund totals $1 million, and will be shared by six organizations in several parts of the state.
"The hard work is just starting now to get the houses developed and done and finding a qualified buyer, which I know is quite an endeavor," Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi said.
The ceremony was held outside a home on Court Avenue that's under renovation. It is one of four properties being acquired by 2 Fish Home Renovations to help it carry out its primary mission: training offenders and finding them job opportunities once they are no longer incarcerated.
"I didn't have any goals, I didn't know what I was going to do leaving the prison and going to work release," Jerrell Hawkins said about being trained and then employed by 2 Fish. "It gave me a plan. I've got a list of goals now, something I want to do."
"The investments that we're making, we talk in terms of grants and organizations and all of that, but this is really about families and communities," Governor John Carney said.
2 Fish is getting $200,000 to acquire and rehabilitate four homes in Overlook Colony. Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County, Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, Milford Housing Development Corporation, Delaware State Community Land Trust of Seaford and Sussex County Habitat for Humanity are receiving funds for various projects.
The Housing Development Fund is designed to create opportunities for affordable, safe and decent housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.
"A lot of times these folks, they're paying high rent for difficult-living apartment conditions," 2 Fish Founder and President Keith Smith said. "Here they've got the opportunity to lower their monthly payment and have home ownership of an energy-efficient, low-maintenance house they can call their own."