Dover, the capitol of Delaware, is centrally located in the state, approximately 90 miles south of Philadelphia and 90 miles east of Washington, D.C.. While its population is significantly less than that of Wilmington, Dover encompasses a larger area than any other city on the Delmarva Peninsula. Located in the southeast corner of the City is Dover Air Force Base, the largest aerial port on the east coast with a work force of over 6500 military and 2300 civilian personnel. The City is also the home of Scott Paper, General Foods, and Playtex manufacturing plants and is becoming the governmental, medical, commercial and cultural hub of the Delmarva Peninsula.
This consolidated plan describes housing and community development needs and priorities, and establishes a comprehensive five year strategy for addressing these needs using Federal and other resources. For the first year of the plan, the City of Dover is requesting $316,000 in Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. These funds will be used for affordable and supportive housing, public services, and improvements to a public facility.
The City of Dover utilized focus groups consisting of representatives from
local housing and services providers to determine priority housing needs and
develop specific implementation activities. In order to broaden citizen
involvement, public hearing were held in February and April to solicit comments
regarding community development and housing needs and to discuss the
Consolidated Plan draft.
From the early 1960's and through the 1970's Dover grew rapidly, adding 12,000 acres to its land area by 1980. From 1980 through 1990 Dover continued its population growth. The 1980 population of 23,512 grew to the 1990 population of 27,630, an increase of 20%. Yet the population figures alone mask the City's role as a regional employment center. It is estimated that Dover's day-time population reaches 80,000 people.
The City's population represented 9,810 households at the time of the 1990 census, 70% of which were White (non-Hispanic), 26% were Black (non-Hispanic) and approximately 4% were Hispanic (all races), Native American, or Asian and Pacific Islanders. Between 1980 and 1990, the City's Black population grew by 27% and the White population by 11%.
The average Median Family Income in 1990 was $38,058, which is above the
national figure of $35,939. The mean household income in Dover in 1990 was
$37,484. When considered by race the mean household income for the White
population was $40,964, for Blacks $27,302, for American Indians $34,390, for
Asian and Pacific Islanders $56,059, and for other races $28,845. For people of
Hispanic origin the mean was $38,119. Approximately 12.5% of the overall
population were below the poverty level as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Unlike most eastern cities, Dover does not suffer from an aging housing stock. The median year built for Dover's housing structures is 1968. Only 9.7% of the units are older than 50 years. The annexations which occurred during the 1960's and 1970's have provided the City with adequate opportunities to meet its housing demand within the City boundaries. The value of land, coupled with an abundant supply of land, available utilities, low interest rates and liberal zoning laws combine to address existing demand.
There are two clear trends in the City of Dover with regard to the availability of housing. First, is the continued growth and development on the west side of the City. This area, due to the availability of roads, dry upland environment and available utilities, continues to be the most active area for new residential construction. Second, there has been a trend toward revitalization and rehabilitation of the older housing areas in Central Dover and to a lesser degree, in-fill new construction.
The 1990 census found only 24 housing units in Dover lacked complete plumbing. The greater problem is overcrowding, 240 units had more than 1 person per room living in the unit and 81 had more than 1.5 persons per room. Most of the overcrowding occurred in rental units.
The cost burden of housing is another problem that exists in Dover. Approximately 59% of all very low-income households spend more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses, and 38% spend more than 50 percent. Among low-income households, 45% spend more than 30 percent for housing, and 5% spend more than 50 percent. Even among moderate income households, earning between 81 to 95% of median family income, 27% pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing.
There were 10,650 dwelling units in the City of Dover in 1990, 9862 of which were occupied. Owners occupied 5,332 (54%) of the units and renters occupied 4530 (46%). For the most part Dover's owner occupied housing units are what one would expect in a community which went through its major growth spurts in the suburbanizing post war period.
The typical owner occupied unit is a three bedroom, detached structure. The median value of owner occupied units is $88,700. Sixty-six percent of the renter occupied units were in structures with three or more units per structure. The median gross rent in 1990 was $470.
The number of very low-income renters that have housing problems or suffer from a housing cost burden are estimated at 715. Among low-income and moderate income renters households, the estimate of those with housing problems is 521 and 126 respectively. Among all renter households, the elderly (45%) and large families (46%) report the greatest incidence of housing problems.
The number of very low-income owner-occupant households that have housing problems or pay more than 30% of their income for housing is estimated at 302. The comparable figures for low-income and moderate income owner-occupant households is 105 and 107 respectively. The distribution of housing problems between owner-occupant households does not indicate any significant difference between the elderly and all other owners.
The total number of unduplicated homeless in the City of Dover according to local shelter providers is 865. The total shelter beds available are 72, located in three shelters. The only sub-population for which data was readily available were youth, which made up 27% of the homeless population and homeless persons with AIDS which made up 1% of the population.
The City currently has households that could be considered "at-risk" of becoming homeless because they pay in excess of 50% of income for housing. There were 936 families identified from the 1990 census who meet this criteria.
The City of Dover is served by two public housing authorities: the Dover Housing Authority and the Delaware State Housing Authority. The Dover Housing Authority currently has 273 public housing units under management, with an addition 63 units in planning. In addition to new unit development, the Authority is also proceeding with its ongoing modernization of its existing inventory and the physical quality and viability of the developments is considered very good. The Authority is currently running a vacancy rate of less than 1%, excluding vacancies purposely created for the purpose of conducting modernization work at Queen Manor. In addition, the Dover Housing Authority administers 64 Section 8 rental certificates and 62 rental vouchers. As of January 1, 1995, 100% of the Authority's certificates and vouchers were under lease agreement.
The Delaware State Housing Authority currently has 280 households that are renting housing in the City of Dover with either Section 8 certificate of voucher assistance. The State Authority also administers a project-based Section 8 contract in conjunction with a privately owned 144 unit family rental complex.
The primary barrier to affordable housing in Dover has been identified as one of cost not quality. Additional rental subsidies would address the majority of the rental need in the City. Thus, a major obstacle is the availability of adequate funding which is awarded on a competitive basis.
Discriminatory practices are adjudicated through the court system under the requirements of Fair Housing laws.
Within the City of Dover, 3,376 renter occupied units, or about 70% of the total were built prior to 1979. Of the owner occupied units, 4,169 units, or about 80% of the total were built before 1979. Of these "at-risk" units, 65% of the renter occupied and 40% of the owner occupied are occupied by low or very low-income households.
The City currently requires lead-based paint testing and abatement in conjunction with its Home Repair Loan Program and CDBG rehabilitation programs. The Dover Housing Authority has tested and abated lead-based paint in all its public housing units.
The City is in the process of completing a more detailed survey of the local hazard and implementing an information campaign for owners and renters on the hazards of chipping and/or peeling lead-based paint.
The community development needs identified by the City of Dover include:
The Consolidated Plan development process allowed the City to establish a
dialogue with other local housing and service organizations. The focus group
approach will allow the City to tap the existing capacity of organizations
active in the housing or social service field and allow those organizations a
more effective voice in designing future activities.
The primary objective of the community development program within the City of Dover is to develop viable urban communities including decent housing and a suitable living environment, and to expand economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate income persons.
Dover's priorities include:
With regard to the needs of the homeless, Dover's highest priorities would be for transitional housing as well as permanent and permanent supportive housing. For non- homeless, low and moderate income households the City will either sponsor or support funding applications for 20 additional units of public housing, the modernization of 60 units at an existing public housing development, up to 50 additional rental subsidy vouchers, and a homebuyer assistance program for up to 25 low to moderate income households.
In addition, the City will institute a more aggressive housing inspection program to identify substandard and dilapidated housing units, and continue its CDBG funded rehabilitation of owner occupied and rental units.
Dover's community development priorities include youth and child care facilities, especially to accommodate parents entering the Welfare Reform Program. Other public facilities\improvements which are considered a high priority include park and recreation facilities and street and sidewalk improvements.
Among public services which have been identified as a priority are transportation, employment training, crime awareness and child care services. The City has also recognized the need to make both public and private facilities handicapped accessible as a high priority.
There are 671 families (10% of all families) in the City of Dover who had incomes below the poverty level ($12,674 for a family of four). In order to reduce the poverty level, the City will work with service providers who administer job training and housing counseling services. One such provider, the Delaware Communities Clustered Against Substance Abuse (DCCASA), intervenes directly with at risk youth through a carefully structured program of drug and alcohol education, resistance skills building and holistic wellness activities after school, weekends and during summers. The City intends to maintain its relationships with social service providers in attempts to further reduce the poverty level.
Resources available to the City of Dover for housing and community development activities include:
The City also may apply for any of the following: Supportive Housing for the Homeless, Moderate Rehabilitation for Single Room Occupancy Dwellings, Runaway and Homeless Youth, Runaway and Homeless Youth-Transitional Living, Runaway and Homeless Youth-Drug Abuse Prevention and Education, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, Shelter Plus Care, Section 811 Supportive Housing for the Disabled, Congregate Housing Services Program, Public Housing Comprehensive Grant Program, Public Housing Development Program, Section 8 Rental Certificate and Rental Voucher Program, Youthbuild, Affordable Housing Program, Community Investment Program and Lead-Based Paint Abatement Program.
The City of Dover's Department of Community Development is responsible for the Consolidated Plan activities. However, other public and private organizations are involved in the administration and implementation of these activities. The Dover Housing Authority and the Dover Housing Development Corporation are two such agencies. The City has a strong working relationship with the Dover Housing Authority and will continue to work closely in coordination with this agency to development decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing.
In attempts to overcome the gaps in the delivery of services, the City will
continue to build effective partnerships with other organizations. Continued
work with homeless service providers on a more coordinated strategy will be
central to the City's efforts to overcome the gaps in the delivery system.
Further, if barriers to affordable housing arise, the City will take steps to
remove the negative effects of any public policies which serve as barriers.
For Fiscal Year 1995-1996, the City of Dover proposes to use its $316,000 in CDBG funds for three community development projects. The allocations include:
Housing rehabilitation will be conducted citywide for the benefit of low and moderate income households. The transitional housing will benefit two homeless families within the City of Dover. As for the renovations to the Bayard Hotel, the improvements will benefit the elderly.
The City of Dover's Department of Housing and Community Development will assume overall responsibility for the administration and implementation of the Consolidated Plan. The City does intend to rely on other housing and service organizations to play a major role in the implementation of specific activities proposed for completion.
The housing rehabilitation activities identified in the City's Consolidated Plan for fiscal year 1995 will benefit an estimated 22 households.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 depicts proposed HUD funded projects at street level for one neighborhood.
Ms. Audrey O. Daniels
Community Development Director
PH: (302) 736-7175