Representative Gregory Lavelle said, however, that he has
"floated that idea around a little bit" among his colleagues in
the General Assembly and "it hasn't been warmly received."
Cartier estimated that the tax on a transaction of that size of
would come close to $1 million. The realty transfer tax is a
state tax which is partially shared with the county in which the
property involved in the transaction is located. Earmarking it
for Brookview would require state legislation, but failing that
County Council presumably could appropriate an amount offset by
Lavelle said the idea has two considerations going against it.
For one, he said, a special arrangement would be considered
precedent-setting. It also would be a case in which public money
would be spent to further a private transaction.
different context, Councilman Robert Weiner told the meeting
sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Jun. 22 that there
"is enthusiasm on the part of the prospective purchaser" for
reaching an agreement with county government on an arrangement
by which the developer would receive breaks on such things as
allowable density and sewer capacity in return for commitments
to providing 'affordable' housing and help with relocation.
pointedly did not identify the prospective purchaser but, as
Delaforum has previously reported, knowledgeable sources have
said it is Wilmington-based Commonwealth Group. A sale price of
$32.5 million has been talked about.
Kramer said the League of Women Voters is especially concerned
with the "lack of 'affordable' housing throughout New Castle
County." A living unit, whether owned or rented, is considered
'affordable' if it costs no more than 30% of the household's
and others have advocated that Brookview be redeveloped to
include what the councilman referred to as "a substantial
number" of units which would be offered for sale at a
below-market price. A combination of that and available programs
for assisting first-time homebuyers would enable at least some
of Brookview's present tenants to end up with mortgage payments
not much higheer than they are now paying in rent.
takes a stretch of the imagination to talk about 'affordable'
housing for 400 to 600 families," said Zelma Gary, one of the
organizers of a Brokview tenants council, the equivalent of a
civic association, now being organized.
uncertain how many households there are in Brookview. The
complex has about 630 units. Occupancy estimates range downward
from 500. Weiner said current thinking is that a redeveloped
Brookview -- considered a key component of the Claymont
Renaissance -- will consist of as many as 1,200 units, most of
which would be sold although there could be some rented.
Lavelle pointed out that "not everyone [who lives there] will
need financial help" either with purchasing one of the new units
or with moving. Delaware State Housing Authority provides some
support for those in need and there are other sources of
assistance, he said.
don't get money just because you're there. You have to show that
you need it," he added.
said that a relatively large portion of Brookview residents are
"thinking of staying where we are." She said the tenants council
is going to take a survey to come up with specific data.
event, it is agreed that there is a considerable amount of time
to make and follow through with arrangements. The first two
years after the sale goes through will be spent planning the
redevelopment in detail. Construction would take four or more
years with building being done in phases determined by the
market that develops for the new community, Weiner told the
meeting, which was attended mostly by persons active in civic
affairs or with interested organizations along with a scattering
of Brookview residents.
very early [in the process]. We're going to have time to plan,
time to address the human concerns in a concrete way," Cartier
many people have too much at stake," Gary said. "We intend to
have continuous dialogue every step of the way. ... Remember,
we're not just numbers; we're people."