Sussex County Habitat for Humanity Needs Affordable Housing - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity Needs Affordable Housing

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 1:24 PM Updated:

LAUREL, Del.- Sussex County Habitat for Humanity says it is in the midst of an affordable housing shortage.

The organization, based out of Georgetown, says rising demand coupled with rising property values in Sussex County is making it hard for it to meet its goals.

“We are now serving 12-15 families a year through home ownerships and we like to keep about two years of inventory in our program so we can fundraise and find the right families that can eventually buy those houses,” explains Executive Director Kevin Gilmore. “What we are finding now is there are properties out there but how many of them are affordable that we can then pass along that affordability to a homeowner?”

Even though the non-profit can use donated materials and volunteers to offset construction costs, the price of the property is critical, and often times it must be purchased at a discount to make the numbers work. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity Property Acquisition Coordinator Jack Moore says a large influx of out-of-state residents is complicating that key component.

“We have folks coming in from New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York-- all places where property prices are very high, so relatively speaking they look low to folks,” he says. “But it really skews the local numbers and makes it very difficult to buy at a price that we can afford.”

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity says right now it is seeking properties in its target areas of Laurel, Seaford and Ellendale, and it welcomes land donations as well. Moore says while it’s possible land donors may receive certain tax benefits, they definitely will change someone’s life forever.

“It truly is a gift that keeps on giving,” he tells WBOC. “Especially this time of year.”

For more information on Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, you can visit its website or call 302-855-1153.

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