Delaware Housing Project Gets Stimulated

Seven months after President Obama signed the Recovery Act in February with the promise of a transparent injection of nearly $800bn into the economy, we’re finally finding some clarity. And the first celebration of local stimulus success comes not from California, where IOU’s are becoming currency, and not from Arizona, where the foreclosure pile continues to grow, or from Detroit, where unemployment plagues every street corner. The news comes from Hollybrook Farms, a 124-unit affordable apartment community in Laurel, Delaware. Last week, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and US Senator Tom Carper gathered with dozens of others to celebrate the rescued apartment project. Hollybrook Farms received a combination of public and private funding last year to renovate the aging community, but in May 2009, renovations were only 58% complete when the investor defaulted on contractual obligations and forged a $4.8m funding gap. The Delaware State Housing Authority worked with the community to request $4.3m of the federal stimulus funds, which was approved last month. “This is stimulus funding doing exactly what it was intended to do — help the economy, create and sustain jobs and support the completion of ‘shovel-ready’ projects. The stimulus funding is being put to good use here in Delaware,” said Senator Carper. But in seven months, literal concrete examples have been hard to find with the exception of last week, when HousingWire reported on the Treasury’s disclosure of state-by-state receipt of stimulus funding. Is the spending of the stimulus package more of a slow trickle instead of an injection, or is good news just hard to come by? Write to Jon Prior.

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