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Housing

How Delaware is taking steps toward more affordable housing

The Delaware Business Roundtable endorsed a package of legislation that incentivises building homes for families with lower incomes.

Rowhouses in Wilmington (Holly Quinn/Technical.ly)

Entrepreneurs don’t choose places to start companies. Entrepreneurs choose places to live, and then start companies where they live.

Following that argument, put forth by Technical.ly CEO Chris Wink, creating affordable housing is more important than tax policy for regions trying to build strong business and workforce economies.

Housing was also a part of the Delaware Business Roundtable’s recently released Delaware Investment Agenda

Currently, there are several pieces of legislation in the pipeline of the Delaware Senate that are endorsed by the roundtable, from giving tax breaks to companies constructing affordable housing to making state support for foreclosure prevention permanent.

The bills, developed by State Senator Russ Huxtable, a Democrat representing the Sixth Senate District in Milton, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach, are under consideration this week. 

“These bills are important first steps,” said roundtable chairman and EDiS CEO Brian DiSabatino in a statement, “and they are the hopeful beginning of an effort to seriously address the issue of affordable housing and workforce housing in Delaware.” 

Read on to find out more about the legislation:

SB 244: Lodging tax to generate income

This bill allows counties to charge a lodging tax of up to 3% for hotel, motel and tourist home stays and use the money to fund workforce and affordable housing programs.

SB 25: Exempt affordable housing from certain tax codes

This bill would amend the Delaware Code by exempting affordable housing construction from the 2% realty transfer tax.

SB 22: Workforce housing investor reimbursements

This is an act that establishes the Delaware Workforce Housing Program with grants that will reimburse a qualified workforce housing investor up to 20 percent of costs associated with creating workforce housing units. 

SB 245: Extension of recession-era help

This is an act that would remove the expiration date of the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Education and the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, two temporary, repeatedly extended recession-era programs. They’re designed to help residents with financial literacy and navigate house foreclosures.

SB 246: Repair assistance for homeowners

This act establishes a Housing Repair and Modification Fund administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority serving low- and very-low income homeowners who need home repair assistance.

Companies: State of Delaware

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