Sen. Carper Announces Wilmington Housing Authority to Receive $1.2 Million in Housing Choice Vouchers

Money to Support Relocation of Southbridge Extension Residents

Wilmington, DE- In support of the recently approved demolition of 180 public housing units at the Southbridge Extension site in South Wilmington, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $1,274,400 in new voucher funding for the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA), Senator Tom Carper announced today. Priority for these vouchers will be given to residents who will have to be relocated from the Southbridge Extension prior to demolition, which is scheduled for spring 2005. “This money will help us address many of the pressing needs in Southbridge and provide adequate housing for families living in this community, said Senator Carper. “It will help alleviate the strain on our state’s agencies and provide residents with the support and tools they need for relocation.” “These vouchers are extremely important to our efforts to provide housing choices to the affected residents,” said Frederick S. Purnell, Sr., Executive Director of WHA. “Our voucher program is presently at 100% utilization, so offers of voucher assistance could not be made prior to this allocation. Additionally, the vouchers not used for relocation can be made available to those on our waiting list.” The Southbridge Extension was approved for demolition under HUD’s HOPE VI program in May 2004. WHA is presently developing a Master Plan for the entire Southbridge neighborhood and plans to submit an application for a HOPE VI revitalization grant for that community when HUD makes funds available later this year. “Voucher Choice,” formally known as “Section 8,” is a HUD program where eligible low- income families are given vouchers to seek housing on the open market. Housing Assistance Payments (HAP’s) are made directly to the landlords who have units approved for the program. WHA’s Section 8 voucher choice program presently administers 1397 housing choice vouchers primarily in the City of Wilmington. WHA was recognized by HUD as a “High Performer” in the administration of the voucher choice program for FY 2004.