In December 2022, Brandy Nauman, Director of Sussex County Community Development informed Milford City Council that her organization was seeking applicants for the 2023 Community Block Grant program. This program could award more than $2 million in funding to Kent and Sussex County for housing rehabilitation projects for low-income families. These projects range from sewer and water hookups, handicap ramps, demolition and more. However, as of the January 9 city council meeting, there had been no new applicants for Sussex County.
“As a reminder, both counties, Kent and Sussex are looking for help with eligible households for the CDBG,” Katrina White, Deputy City Clerk, said. “Brandy Nauman has sent a follow up email to get names for Sussex County’s waiting list as there remain no names from Milford and without at least four, they are unable to apply to the State of Delaware for review.”
Wilson continued that the deadline for applications was initially the first week of January in order for the applications to be submitted to the state by the first week of February. Since none had been received, Nauman was asking the city to identify low-to-moderate income homeowners who could benefit from the program as soon as possible in order to get the applications submitted.
In the last five years, Milford has received over $420,000 in funding from the program with about 18 households assisted. In order to continue receiving the grant funds, Milford must show a need in the area which is why they must have at least four properties on a waiting list. Nauman explained in December that they prefer to have at least six.
“The funding can be used for small infrastructure projects, like sidewalks or water-sewer infrastructure, but those projects typically require a lot of planning and engineering as well as a match from the city,” Nauman said. “Normally, we do things like rehab or demolition. We have funding for some water and sewer hookups, but that is something we address for unincorporated properties when they want to connect to a county expansion.”
In order to qualify for the program, property owners must have an income that is 120 percent of the poverty level. In Kent County, that means a household with one person must earn less than $43,250 while in Sussex County, they must earn less than $53,800. Amounts vary depending on how many people live in the home.
Anyone interested in applying should contact Sussex County at 302-855-7777 or Kent County at 302-744-2480 as soon as possible.
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