City of Wilmington announces 1st time home buyer, home repair programs

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Wilmington oficials announced details of two programs that will soon make funds available to assist purchasers of a home in the city and to existing homeowners who need assistance with a major home repair.

Both programs were agreed to and funded by the Administration and City Council as part of fiscal 2024 budget discussions, which led to the adoption of a new annual budget last May. Both programs have income eligibility limits intended to help fund those on a more limited income.

Income eligibility charts are below.

Wilmington First Start Homebuyer Program
The Wilmington First Start Homebuyer Program will begin accepting applicants on Nov. 13. Income-eligible home buyers must call the city’s Customer Service Center by dialing 311 to register. If you are outside the City’s boundaries, register by calling (302) 576- 2620. There will be $300,000 available in federal funds (with income limits of 80% of median income) and $200,000 in general funds (with income limits of 100% of median income) for this program.

Each applicant will be eligible for assistance not to exceed the lesser of $15,000 or 6% of the property’s purchase price. A minimal contribution of $1,000 is required from the buyer. The funds may be used for down payments, closing costs, or to reduce the purchase price by writing down the principal. To qualify for this funding, an applicant must seek a fixed-rate mortgage loan free from origination points or fees and must not exceed a term of 30 years.

This is a program for first-time homebuyers, persons who have not owned a home in the past three years, or for displaced homemakers and single parents. Details of this program can be found at this link.

Wilmington’s Homeowner Repair Program
Funding for this program—approximately $1.7 million—will be distributed through two lotteries. The first will be held in December and the second will be held in March of 2024. Up to $10,000 is available to each income eligible applicant for a variety of home repairs that may include roof repair/replacement, HVAC repair/replacement, weatherization, window/door replacement, electric or lighting repairs, plumbing, masonry repairs, structural/safety repairs, railing and safety issues, handicapped accessibility, and exterior painting, among others.

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Applicants must call the City’s Customer Service Center by dialing 311 to register for the program. The City estimates that about 170 homeowners will be served through this program. In order to provide eligible city homeowners with an equal chance to receive funding, a random lottery process will be used. Because home repairs take time and because the city wants to avoid delays in home repairs being completed, funding will be distributed through the use of two lotteries.

For the December lottery, eligible applicants must call the City’s Customer Service Center by dialing 311 between December 1 and 15 to register. On December 20, the City will select the first 85 homeowners from those who entered their name and address in the lottery. For the second lottery in March of 2024, eligible applicants must call 311 from March 1 through 15 to register. On March 20, a second group of approximately 85 homeowners will be selected to receive funding. Complete details of this program can be found at this link.

Here are the income eligibility charts that apply to each program. The 80% AMI chart below applies to the $300,000 in federal funds for homebuyers, while the 100% AMI chart applies to the remaining $200,000 in City funds for homebuyers. The 100% AMI chart also applies to the $1.7 million being made available for the homeowner repair program.

City of Wilmington Income Limits (eff. date July 15, 2023) 100% Area Median Income
Household SizeIncome Limit
1 person$ 78,125
2 persons$ 89,250
3 persons$ 100,438
4 persons$ 111,563
5 persons$ 120,500
6 persons$129,438
7 persons$ 138,375
8 persons$ 147,313
City of Wilmington Income Limits (eff. date July 15, 2023) 80% Area Median Income
Household SizeIncome Limit
1 person$ 62,500
2 persons$ 71,400
3 persons$ 80,350
4 persons$ 89,250
5 persons$ 96,400
6 persons$ 103,550
7 persons$110,700
8 persons$ 117,850
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