Permanently Affordable Homes = 24
Public Investment Preserved Forever = $2,022,000
363 Saulsbury Roadinfo@diamondstateclt.org
Dover, DE 19904
Welcome to Diamond State CLT
Delaware’s statewide community land trust
Homeownership changes lives.
Homeownership contributes to families’ and communities’ economic stability and growth. For children, homeownership is tied to success in school and life.
Unfortunately, housing costs in Delaware have placed homeownership out of reach of many hard working families. Throughout our state there is a growing gap between the buying power of people’s wages and the cost of a quality home.
This is where Diamond State comes in. Formed in 2006, Diamond State Community Land Trust is helping families own homes at prices they can afford. Diamond State invests funds in every transaction, “buying down” the purchase price of the homes.
Diamond State homeowners gain equity and financial stability, and Delaware gains homes that are affordable for generations to come. We serve families in all three Delaware counties - Kent, New Castle, and Sussex.
Diamond State serves families earning household incomes at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) based on family size.
Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against Sussex County, Delaware, for Blocking Affordable Housing The Justice Department announced today that it has settled a lawsuit against Sussex County, Del., and the Planning and Zoning Commission of Sussex County for race and national origin discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Press Release
The Triumph of Hope An agreement between the Justice Department and the Sussex County ends discrimination lawsuit. The announcement that the Justice Department on November 28 agreed with Sussex County to end a lawsuit filed by Diamond State Community Land Trust when the county made a decision discriminatory against Hispanic families, was greeted with relief in Sussex Community. Link to full article, spanish version available
Diamond State Welcomes Two New Board Members to its Team as David Buches, community investment manager, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLB), and William E. Ward, partner, Ward and Taylor LLC join the Board of Directors. Both will contribute their unique expertise to ensure Delaware's hard working residents gain access to permanently affordable housing. Read the full announcement.
Diamond State CLT Announces Executive Director Transition
Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank Foundation Believe in Diamond State, Commit Funding
------------- ANNOUNCEMENT TO PROSPECTIVE HOMEOWNERS -------------
New Funding Available to Reduce Mortgages for CLT Buyers – Diamond State's Buyer Initiated Program
Effective immediately, we are announcing our Buyer Initiated Program for eligible CLT buyers. This program is available along with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Homes. Prospective buyers complete the Diamond State CLT Steps to Homeownership. Upon completion of these steps and pre-approval for mortgage eligibility, buyers will be eligible to select homes for sale that meet the Diamond State/NSP requirements or choose from others already available in our inventory.
Diamond State News and Views
Affordability Gaps in Sussex County Highest in Delaware: Affordable Homeownership Outside Reach of many Delawareans even with Decline in Housing Prices. View county data.
Homeownership Today and Tomorrow: Building Assets While Preserving Affordability
What works best for housing low- and moderate-income families: rental housing or homeownership? The question is so persistent because for many households, neither of those options is quite right. For many families—including most of the lowest income families, as well as many others who choose them for a range of lifestyle reasons—renting probably will always continue to make the most sense.
But for those working families who have modest incomes but are not in extreme poverty, being forced to face perpetual renting versus owning amounts to being locked out of one of the most common ways Americans move up economically - building equity in a home. Assets can make a greater difference than higher pay in a low-income household’s ability to transform its circumstances or make it through a problem like a job loss or illness without ending up in crisis.
On the other hand, as the past several years have demonstrated all too clearly, pushing low-income families into homeownership often backfires. Without any savings in the bank or cushion in their income, these families are often blindsided by maintenance or repair problems they can’t address, or are only a few weeks of unemployment away from defaulting on their mortgage payment. With lower credit scores, they are often saddled with higher interest rates and unsustainable loan terms. Some studies have found that only half of all low-income first-time homebuyers are still homeowners five years later.2
Moreover, traditional homeownership programs that provide public subsidy to help homebuyers achieve homeownership are resource intensive, since they provide one-time grants or forgivable loans that help only one lucky family, with no subsidy recaptured. Given the very real risks of homeownership for lower-income families, it is not obvious that continued investment in standard homeownership programs will produce meaningful social benefits.
But a third option with a growing presence exists. A number of innovative local affordable homeownership programs around the country have found ways to make ownership accessible and also much safer and more sustainable, while concurrently achieving long-term affordability. These programs ensure that that public investment in affordable homeownership can serve multiple generations of homebuyers in the same way that investments in affordable rental housing do. However, in addition these programs offer homeowners a predictable path from renting to traditional homeownership and offer communities a smarter way to make the most of scarce housing resources for lasting results. Read the NHI report.
Defying national trends, delinquent mortgages and foreclosures remain low in Community Land Trusts -- Community land trust homeowners continue to succeed based on a model of long-term affordability and post-purchase stewardship.
Kent County promoting effort to provide affordable homes for low-income residents -- Jo Ann Zorb and Mary Ellen Gray examine the interior of a home on Gunning Bedford Drive, Rodney Village. The markings on the wall and ceiling are from soot from the prior occupants using a kerosene heater. The house will undergo a major renovation under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program... read the entire article from the Dover Post.
Stewardship Works Community land trusts succeed in curing delinquencies and preventing foreclosures, and the numbers show it. Read the entire article from Shelterforce.
What Foreclosure Crisis? Community Land Trusts Offer Secure Homeownership
The current foreclosure crisis that is sweeping our country illustrates how vulnerable homeowners are—especially low- and moderate-income households. Some reports estimate that over 40 percent of foreclosures are occurring with homeowners who had good, 30-year, low-interest loans in place before they got caught up in the refinancing frenzy promoted by many mortgage providers. Unwisely, many homeowners switched their stable mortgages for other mortgage products that were, simply put, too good to be true.
In addition to the families that refinanced, there are many others now facing the prospect of foreclosure. Some people bought homes they could not afford as their primary residence betting that the rapid escalation in home values would continue. Others bought second and third homes expecting to resell within a short time-frame and realize a quick profit.