MHDC Revitalizing Communities in Need


23Staff Report

The Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) is partnering with local lenders to rehabilitate foreclosed homes in Delaware. As vacant homes can cause problems and drive down property values in a neighborhood with dark buildings, uncut lawns and overgrown bushes can depress curb appeal and invite vandals and vermin to move in next door, MHDC is working with area banks and CDFI’s (Community Development Financial Institutions) to purchase, renovate and resell these properties, stabilizing our communities and increasing the value of everyone’s real estate. MHDC’s most recently completed rehab project is located at 621 Hammond Drive in Eastman Heights in Milford.

“Earlier this year we were approached by a local lender about a foreclosure that was on its’ way to becoming a distressed property. Our team came out to evaluate the home and develop a plan and a budget to determine if the project was financially feasible,” said Russ Huxtable, VP and Chief Operating Officer for MHDC. “We knew this project was going to take a lot of time and work, and, within just a couple of days we had the confidence and commitment to move forward.”

Dan Van Vorst, MHDC’s Construction Manager added, “We saw incredible potential in this project and the opportunity to make many improvements in the home’s external appearance and energy efficiency. We wanted this home to stand out as something very new and different in the neighborhood. The split-level homes in Eastman Heights were designed with a front roof overhang and plantation style columns. It was easy to change these features to create clean lines and a fresh, modern appearance. MHDC is also an Energy Star Sustained Partner. We have won national awards for four years because we build what we believe – an affordable home must also be an energy efficient home. We started improving efficiency with new windows and doors throughout the house and some additional insulation in the attic. We also replaced the home’s electric base board heating system with a brand-new combination heat pump/AC unit for the upper level. On the lower level we spared no expense to install a state of the art Mitsubishi HVAC system that provides four separate zones of heating and cooling.”

Deciding what to do with the original kitchen and bathrooms was really easy for Tracey Hearn, MHDC’s Construction Coordinator; “Just get rid of it all and put in everything brand new. The stylish kitchen is completely new and features dark walnut cabinets, designer countertops and a ceramic tile floor. New stainless steel appliances will take this kitchen over the top and will be installed when the future owner moves in. New tubs, toilets, tile, sinks, vanities and fixtures have brought both bathrooms out of the 1980’s into the 21st century. You’ll enjoy new hardwoods and laminate flooring in the living room, dining room and family room. All four bedrooms have beautiful new carpeting.”

“My favorite feature of this home is the garage,” says Dave Szumski, MHDC’s Homeownership Manager. “This house is ready for someone to create an awesome man-cave. There is a detached two-car garage with a third door and bay in the back. The garage has electric, new windows and doors; it’s ready and waiting for insulation, interior walls and a full work shop. You go between the garage and the house through the spacious utility room; a great place to get cleaned up before heading into your home.”

The Milford Housing Development Corporation is a non-profit 501(c)3 with a Mission to help families of modest means secure safe and affordable housing. MHDC is always interested in talking with lenders and communities about similar projects; acquiring, repairing, renovating and reselling foreclosed properties to help our families and meet our Mission. If interested, individuals are urged to contact Dave Szumski directly at 302-422-8255 ext. 125 to set up an appointment to see this home, offered for $194,900 and visit the website to see the Hammond house video at