Central Branch YMCA Receives $500,000 Grant, Carper and Castle Help Secure Funds Aimed at Averting Transitional Housing Crisis

WILMINGTON, DE – U.S. Senator Tom Carper and Congressman Mike Castle announced today that the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh has awarded a $500,000 housing grant for the renovation of the Central Branch YMCA in Wilmington. A vital part of the community, the YMCA provides a haven from homelessness and a “leg up” to those working toward a better life. By providing safe, dignified, accessible housing to men who might otherwise be homeless, the YMCA is one of the state’s most important components in providing transitional housing. The Renovation Project, which is budgeted at $16 million, will allow the Y to continue its transitional housing service to Delaware. “Our state faces a transitional housing crisis that the YMCA’s Renovation Project will help solve. We have the ability and the responsibility to avert this potential crisis,” Carper said. “From education to athletics, the YMCA is a place of self-improvement. The Y’ needs our community’s support to allow its transitional housing project to help others on the road to a better life. This grant moves this project forward and gives it momentum towards that goal.” “The YMCA’s Renovation Project is both impressive and ambitious, and most importantly it is an asset to our State. As a former Delaware Governor, I have witnessed first hand the hardships people face when trying to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient”, Congressman Castle said. “The lack of affordable and accessible short-term housing is an on-going problem, with no simple solution. The Y’s dedication to facing the problem head-on is admirable. I wish the Renovation Project continued success.” The housing grant, won by the YMCA of Delaware and PNC Bank, with grant-writing assistance from the delegation, will be used to update the major systems of the historic YMCA building. The Central Branch Renovation Project adds 40 new rooms and renovates the existing facilities so that critical safety and environmental concerns can be met, and deteriorating systems can be updated. Annually, over 500 men are turned away. This project will increase the number of beds by 28% – a significant contribution to the state’s transitional housing supply. The $500,000 grant awarded the YMCA today was announced in Wilmington at a Pittsburgh FHLBank reception honoring partnerships in affordable housing. Delaware’s congressional delegation has also helped secure $1.5 million for the Central Branch YMCA from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and $750,000 in federal VA-HUD appropriations. Since the AHP began in 1990, the Pittsburgh FHLBank has awarded more than $94.1million in grants and no-interest loans for housing in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. That amount, leveraged with funding from other sources, has resulted in more than $1.48 billion in total development costs, representing 20,261 affordable housing units. In 2001, the Pittsburgh FHLBank awarded $16.2 million in affordable housing grants.