Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is pleased to announce our recent partnership with Woodlawn Trustees, Inc. around the redevelopment of its Woodlawn Flats, a 450-unit affordable housing development off North Union Street in Wilmington.
As part of the 10-year, $100-million project, Woodlawn Trustees is allowing our Prices Corner ReStore access to the units ahead of demolition to salvage appliances, fixtures and other material which will be resold.
“Our ReStore (Prices Corner) is having tremendous growth in sales and new customers due to the materials that are donated,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of Habitat NCC. “The Woodlawn Trustees salvage partnership at The Flats is a great example of two non-profits working together to form a “win-win” for our community.”
The ReStore receives donated materials from businesses, households and other non-profits like Woodlawn.
In 1901, William Bancroft established Woodlawn Company, known today as Woodlawn Trustees, Incorporated.
In 1902, recognizing the need for workers’ housing, Woodlawn began a development of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom rental units in the section of Wilmington between Union Street and the B&O Railroad, from 4th Street to 7th Street.
Twenty rows of houses were erected over a 10-year period, providing housing for 390 families. Additions through the years brought the number to 473 and extended the “flats” to 9th Street.
These rental units represented a distinct innovation in housing. Utilities were modern and the company established a repair shop in the district to respond to maintenance needs. Front and back yards were provided, as well as a five-acre park and playground along 4th and Ferris Streets.
Rents were moderate. While most housing construction at the time was oriented towards owner-occupied, single-family houses, Woodlawn’s focus on neighborhood-based rental housing at affordable rates was unusual and proved successful.
More than 100 years have passed since the flats were built and Woodlawn still believes that the need for affordable housing exists. A plan has been developed for redeveloping the Flats with new spacious and energy efficient units.
Woodlawn housing has been owned, operated, maintained and upgraded by Woodlawn over the years and continues to be among the most desirable, affordable rental housing in the city.
This community of over 450 residential units will be redeveloped in 7 phases over 10+ years.
“We are working with designers and architects to maintain the historic feel and character of this community which was originally envisioned by our founder, William P. Bancroft, over a century ago to house mill workers, artisans, and other people of modest means,” said Rod Lambert, President & CEO of Woodlawn Trustees. “We plan to capture the neighborhood’s charm by incorporating quality, human-scaled architecture and signature design features that make the flats an important part of the urban fabric of Wilmington.”
Established in 1986, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has completed 227 homes and ranks among the top three HFH Northeast affiliates (of 210 affiliates from Delaware to Maine) in terms of housing production.
The majority of the generous amounts of donated materials Habitat received every year (24 tons in 2005) cannot be used in the homes we build, so Habitat has been able to sell these donations at a discounted rate in its ReStore with the proceeds used to help Habitat build houses.
“The renovating of the historic Flats and the salvaging of materials this helps our ReStore and ultimately allows us to build more Habitat for Humanity homes,” Smith said. “So, in essence, this partnership goes a long way toward continuing the fight to eliminate substandard housing in the city of Wilmington and create affordable housing for deserving families.”
You can follow the project on Facebook by clicking here to visit The Flats Wilmington page.