Better Homes of Seaford, Inc. (BHS) was established in 1969 by City of Seaford officials and citizens who sought to improve low-income housing within the community.
The mission of Better Homes of Seaford, Inc., a non-profit corporation, is to provide comfortable and safe housing with related facilities and services for the low-income residents of Seaford, Delaware and the surrounding area.
Chandler Heights I
BHS Board of Directors oversaw the construction of Chandler Heights I, 91 unit apartment complex offering 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments. The project was funded by HUD, with HUD subsidies made available to the tenants.
Chandler Heights II
BHS Board of Directors oversaw the construction of Chandler Heights II with 12 three-bedroom units built in 1991 and 12 three bedroom units built in 1992. The 24 unit family townhouse complex was funded by USDA Rural Development and the Delaware State Housing Authority, with USDA RD subsidies made available to tenants.
Virginia Crest Village
In 1995, BHS began planning the development of elderly housing on 11.6 acres in Seaford, which was divided into three parcels that were developed in three phases. Virginia Crest Village, the first phase, consists of 27 one-bedroom rental units and a community center, which accommodates all three developments.
Funding for the construction of the apartment complex was obtained from HUD, Section 202. Funding for the community center was obtained from a combination of sources, including a HUD grant, a bank grant from Greenwood Trust, and a trust grant from Crystal Trust. Virginia Crest Village was completed and rented to capacity in 1999.
Concurrent with the construction of Virginia Crest Village, BHS implemented the second phase of elderly housing development in Seaford, Williamsburg Manor, which consists of 18 one-bedroom units and 8 two-bedroom units.
Funding for the complex was obtained from a combination of source, primarily by a Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Low-Income Tax Credit (LIHTC). Other funding sources included Federal Home Loan Bank grants from Wilmington Trust and the Bank of Delmar, CRA funds from Greenwood Trust, and additional funding from the Welfare Foundation, Crystal Trust, and Laffey McCugh. Construction financing was provided by Wilmington Trust. Our partner and equity provider was the Delaware Equity Fund for Housing Limited Partnership III (DEFH III). Williamsburg Manor was completed and rented to capacity in 1999.
BHS then implemented the third phase of elderly housing development in Seaford, Yorktowne Woods, which consists of 35 one-bedroom units with a combination laundry and maintenance area. Funding for the complex was obtained from loans provided by DSHA LIHTC and USDA RD. Rental assistance is provided by USDA RD for all the units in Yorktowne Woods. Our partner and equity provider was DEFH III. Construction financing was provided by Wilmington Trust. Yorktowne Woods was completed and rented to capacity in 2001.
BHS converted a garment factory into a 11 low-income elderly apartment complex, consisting of of 3 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom units.
Funding for Charleston Place was obtained from loans from DSHA and USDA RD, bank grants and contributions from BHS. Income limits are at 80% AMI or below with no project based subsidy. Charleston Place was completed and rented to capacity in 2006.
Chandler Heights I
In 2005 and 2007, Chandler Heights I was reorganized and totally renovated with preservation tax credits. The project was funded with LIHTC, DSHA Loans, bank grants and contributions from BHS. The project units were reduced from 91 apartment units to 88. A community room with kitchen, library, learning center, conference room and enhanced office space were added. The HUD project subsidy was maintained.
Hampton Circle a 35 unit elderly building adjacent to Yorktowne Woods was funded with LIHTC and RD loan with full project subsidy. Bank grants and other grants contributed in the pre-construction cost. All units were rented up in November 2012 and there were 118 applicants that were placed on the wait list.
Chandler Heights II
In 2016, Chandler Heights II was reorganized, expanded, renovated. Four units of Section 811 one-bedroom units were added with subsidies to the tenants. The funding for this renovation and expansion was through LIHTC. USDA RD maintains the subsidies on the original 24 units.
The residents of the elderly projects have formed an association and make use of the community centers and green-space area which includes walkways a gazebo a nature trail with exercise areas a pavilion and lawn furniture. The residents have scheduled meetings, bingo days, Bible study, game days, crime watch meetings, fellowship/craft days, potluck dish dinners, summer picnics and cook out, ice cream socials, special events such as prom night and fashion shows as well as private parties.
Herring Ridge, which will be adjacent to Hampton Circle, will provide an additional 34 rental units for the elderly. The connector road and nature trail, as well as the water, sewer, electric, gas and storm water drain, are in place waiting for extending and connecting. Units will be available for renting in July 2020.