City of Wilmington Officials Work With Housing Agencies During Housing Strategy Meeting and Discuss How to Strengthen Community Neighborhoods

Posted on  04/19/2013 3:36 pm

City officials and housing agencies discuss how to strengthen community neighborhoods.

On April 17, 2013, the City of Wilmington invited seven local, non-profit housing agencies to attend its first Wilmington Housing Strategy Meeting. Cornerstone West, Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith Community Housing, Wilmington Housing Authority, Wilmington Housing Partnership, Wilmington Renaissance Corporation and Woodlawn Trustees joined City officials at the Delaware Historical Society’s Copeland Room and presented their accomplishments and visions for the City.

The event was moderated by Sophia Hanson, Director of Planning and Urban Design, and included representatives from the City’s Neighborhood Planning Councils and the University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research and Service.

Mayor Williams opened the meeting by thanking the organizations for their commitment to the City. He also highlighted the importance of homeownership and the positive impact it has on the lives of City residents.

Velda Jones-Potter, the Chief Strategy Advisor for the Mayor’s Office, presented the City’s Preamble which highlights a theme of “working together with a unity of purpose.” Themes from the City’s Preamble echoed throughout the various presentations.

Joan Fultz of Cornerstone West noted that their West Side Grows Together Revitalization Plan includes many elements of the City’s Preamble, including community-based park improvements, youth engagement and collaborative neighborhood redevelopment.

There was new excitement and energy present as the non-profit organizations were able to collaborate cohesively with City officials and address methods for strengthening our City’s neighborhoods.

Fred Purnell, Executive Director of the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA), expressed gratitude for the City’s willingness to include outside agencies. Mr. Purnell presented plans for the redevelopment of Riverside and stressed the importance of collaborating to make the project a major success.

Carrie Gray of Wilmington Renaissance Corporation, presented the vision of the Artist Live/Work Initiative, which proposes the development of affordable housing for artists in West Center City. Ms. Gray urged the City to promote its vast assets and to encourage residents to celebrate City life and enjoy “being urban.”

The Question and Answer Roundtable was moderated by Raheemah Jabbar-Bey, Associate Policy Scientist, from the University of Delaware. Ms. Jabbar-Bey issued a challenge to all attendees to develop terms for collaboration and to make a true commitment to a common goal.

The City will continue to work with these organizations to strengthen and redevelop our neighborhoods.