A chronology of community development and housing for the State of Delaware and nationally.

  • Gezicht_op_Hoorn_van_Hendrick_Cornelisz_Vroom_1622_Westfries_Museum_Hoorn1631

    The Dutch establish the colony of Zwaanendael near present-day Lewes.

  • 800px-Model_of_Fort_Cristina1638

    Fort Christina in present-day Wilmington becomes the first settlement of the colony of New Sweden.

  • Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_States1787

    Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution.

  • Thomas_Paine_by_Laurent_Dabos-crop1795

    Thomas Paine publishes Agrarian Justice, a critique of landed property and a proposal for a 'national fund' for a guaranteed basic income.

  • Lockport_bartlett_color_crop1825

    The Erie Canal is completed, providing a water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

  • Tom_Thumb_locomotive_20c_replica1830

    First steam-powered locomotive built in the U.S.

  • Bank_Center1832

    WSFS is Founded.

    City of Wilmington chartered.

  • First_Oil_Well1859

    The oil industry is born with the drilling of the first commercial well at Titusville, Crawford County, PA.

  • Homestead_Act_05_(7268340896)1862

    The Homestead Act is signed into law by President Lincoln.

  • 69workmen1869

    Transcontinental Railroad is completed.

  • Emily_Bissell1883

    Emily Bissell founded an organization, now known as the West End Neighborhood House that originally provided social services to Wilmington's immigrant Irish and German families.

  • Hobos21894

    The Christian Endeavor Society of Wilmington begins a housing program to supplement their outreach to homeless men, later to become the Sunday Breakfast Mission.

  • 1910Ford-T1908

    Henry Ford introduces the Model T.

  • photo-history21927

    The Neighborhood House begins serving residents of South Wilmington.

  • Depression-stock-market-crash-19291929

    Stock Market Crash

  • 2000px-US-FDIC-Seal.svg1933

    The Banking Act of 1933, known as the Glass–Steagall Act, establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and introduces banking reforms, some of which are designed to control speculation.

  • -Ask_us_about_FHA_loans_to_Remodel_for_Veterans-_-_NARA_-_5142421934

    The National Housing Act of 1934 creates the Federal Housing Administration. Mortgages terms are extended and down payment requirements are reduced. Discrimination in lending and redlining are condoned.

  • -Cross_Out_Slums-_-_NARA_-_5135491937

    U.S. Housing Act of 1937, sometimes called the Wagner-Steagall Act, calling for "decent, safe, and sanitary housing" for all Americans, provides for low-income housing subsidies and the creation of PHAs.

  • WHA-logo1938

    Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) is established.

  • com_eastlake_031942

    Construction begins on Wilmington's first housing public housing project in the Eastlake community.

  • GI_Bill_signing1944

    President Roosevelt signs into law the G.I. Bill of Rights, including the enactment of VA Loan Program.

  • Welcome_to_Levittown_sign1947

    William Levitt begins the first Levittown, a planned community on Long Island in Nassau County, New York, helping to provide the template for the suburbanization of the nation.

  • Cabrini_Green_Housing_Project1949

    Leon N. Weiner begins building homes.

    The American Housing Act of 1949, adding the word "affordable" to the 1937 act language, expands the federal role in mortgage insurance, public housing, "urban renewal," and rural homeownership.

  • leon-weiner1950

    Leon Weiner and Delaware Community Homes builds the community of Dunleith in New Castle County, providing homeownership opportunities for African Americans.

  • NCALL Logo Large - 1765x8001955

    National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor establishes the NCALL Research Fund.

  • Eisenhower_Interstate_System_sign1956

    Interstate Highway Act begins the subsidization of suburban life, calling for 41,000 miles of new highways.

  • Milgram_Morris1959

    Morris Milgram builds Runnymede, a privately developed multiracial community in Hockessin.

  • 3648682565_0ceee2e0e7_b1963

    The Delaware Turnpike opens, extending Interstate 95 which cuts through the neighborhoods of Wilmington.

  • Lyndon_Johnson_signing_Civil_Rights_Act,_July_2,_19641964

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed, prohibiting discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women.

  • Lyndon_Johnson_and_Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._-_Voting_Rights_Act1965

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is enacted, barring discrimination in voting practices.

    Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 creates HUD as cabinet-level agency.

  • L_B_Johnson_Model_Khe_Sanh1966

    The Model Cities Program is enacted as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty and Great Society initiatives.

  • Leffler_-_1968_Washington,_D.C._Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._riots1968

    The Kerner Commission finds "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal."

    The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) is created as a public corporation within the Delaware State Department of Housing.

    Riots in major cities follow assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Governor Charles Terry deploys the National Guard in Wilmington, where they remain until the end of his term in January 1969.

    Civil Rights Act of 1968 (also known as the Fair Housing Act) passed.

    Housing Act of 1968 establishes Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).

  • George_W._Romney_official_portrait1969

    George Romney, HUD Secretary under President Nixon

  • Signing_of_the_Housing_and_Urban_Development_Act1970

    DSHA becomes part of the Department of Community Affairs

    Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970 introduces Federal Experimental Housing Allowance Program, Community Development Corporation, and support for new towns.

  • bretton-woods1971

    The U. S. leaves the the Bretton Woods Accord going off the Gold Exchange Standard.

  • chandler heights1972

    Better Homes of Seaford builds Chandler Heights I.

    Pruitt-Igoe public housing buildings in St. Louis are demolished.

  • Landscape1973

    1973 Oil Crisis

    President Nixon declares moratorium on housing and community development assistance.

  • Jimmy_Carter_signs_the_Housing_and_Community_Development_Act._-_NARA_-_1764701974

    Housing and Community Development Act consolidates programs into Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

    Section 8 tenant-based certificates increase low-income tenants' choice of housing.

  • hdma-sign1975

    Home Mortgage Disclosure Act is passed, requiring banks to disclose demographic data on home purchasing and lending.

    New Jersey Supreme Court issues the Mount Laurel decision, mandating affirmative municipal zoning that provides for production of affordable housing in the state's townships.

  • mhdc-header-logo-large1977

    Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) begins.

    Patricia R. Harris, HUD Secretary under President James Carter.

    The Ministry of Caring is established.

    Urban Development Action Grants (UDAG) give distressed communities funds for residential or nonresidential use.

    Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) passed.

  • Line_at_a_gas_station,_June_15,_19791979

    Inflation hits 19 percent, seriously impacting home buying and home mortgage loans.

    1979 Energy Crisis

  • scpd1980

    The State Council for People with Disabilities (SCPD) is formed by state law.

    Depository Institutions' Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 changes rules governing thrift institutions, expands alternative mortgages.

  • Samuel_Pierce_official_portrait1981

    Samuel R. Pierce Jr., HUD Secretary under President Ronald Reagan.

    Interest rates for FHA-insured mortgages peak at 15.17 percent (up from 7 percent in 1972).

  • Delaware Housing Coalition1983

    The Delaware Housing Coalition (DHC) is incorporated.

    Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983 begins Housing Development Action Grant and Rental Rehabilitation programs.

  • Connections_200x1501985

    Connections CSP begins providing community-based housing, health care, and employment to poor and homeless.

    Delaware affordable housing advocates succeed in getting first state housing code passed.

  • 6809000715_b3f2748fef_o1986

    Housing Development Fund (HDF) Commission reports

    The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC is created under the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

  • dsha-color-transparent-copy1987

    DSHA becomes part of the Delaware Economic Development Office.

    Stewart B. McKinney Act sets up programs to help communities deal with homelessness.

    Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC) is founded after a study of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data reveals that African Americans are more than seven times more likely to be denied home mortgages than white Americans.

    Delaware CRA Protests result in multi-million dollar mortgage & assistance pledges and initiate housing counseling in earnest in the state.

  • The_Salvation_Army.svg1988

    "Homelessness in Delaware" (UD/Urban Affairs & The Salvation Army) released.

    Indian Housing Act gives HUD new responsibilities for housing needs of Native Americans and Alaskan Indians.

    Housing and Community Development Act allows sale of public housing to resident management Corporations.

    Fair Housing Amendments Act makes it easier for victims of discrimination to sue, stiffens penalties for offenders.

  • HUD Secretary Jack Kemp1989

    Jack F. Kemp, HUD Secretary under President George H. W. Bush.

    National March for Housing Now!

    Financial Institutions' Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act bails out failing thrift institutions.

  • DE_hiv-consortium1990

    The Delaware HIV Consortium is formed.

    Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act emphasizes homeownership and tenant-based assistance, launches HOME housing block grant.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) becomes law.

    The AIDS Housing Opportunity Act of 1990 is passed.

    Low-Income Housing Preservation and Residential Homeownership Act of 1990 fortifies Federal commitment to preservation of -assisted low-income, multifamily housing.

  • hudseal_teal_11992

    Federal Housing Enterprises' Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 creates HUD Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight to provide public oversight of FNMA and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

  • HenryCisnerosLibraryHIGHRES1993

    Henry G. Cisneros, HUD Secretary under President William Clinton.

    Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community program becomes law as part of Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.

  • Exhibit, A Work In Progress1995

    Blueprint for Reinvention of HUD proposes sweeping changes in public housing reform and FHA, consolidation of other programs into three block grants.

  • home-589068_19201996

    "Homelessness in Delaware Revisited" (UD/Urban Affairs) released.

    Homeownership totals 66.3 million American households, the largest number ever.

    Delaware Rural Housing Consortium forms.

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (Clinton Welfare Reform) is enacted.

  • HUD_Secretary_Andrew_Cuomo1997

    The Delaware Apartment Association (DAA) is formed.

    Andrew M. Cuomo, HUD Secretary under President William Clinton

  • hpc-de_200x1501998

    DSHA becomes an independent authority with a cabinet-level standing.

    The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA) is passed, aiming to encourage poverty deconcentration, transition from welfare to work, and merging and reforming Section 8 certificate and voucher programs.

    Eastlake Hope VI Project funded by HUD.

    HUD opens Enforcement Center to take action against HUD-assisted multifamily property owners and other HUD fund recipients who violate laws and regulations.

    The Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPC) is established.

    Congress approves Public Housing reforms to reduce segregation by race and income, encourage and reward work, bring more working families into public housing, and increase the availability of subsidized housing for very poor families.

  • dvdc-logo1999

    Delaware Valley Development Company is formed.

    The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act effectively repeals Glass-Steagall provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies and removes the separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks

  • Mel_Martinez2000

    Cornerstone West CDC is created

    America's homeownership rate reaches a new record-high of 67.7 percent in the third quarter of 2000. A total of 71.6 million American families own their homes - more than at any time in American history.

    Mel Martinez, HUD Secretary under President George W. Bush

  • Mobile_home2003

    Manufactured Housing Communities Act passed.

  • Alphonso_Jackson_official_portrait2004

    Alphonso Jackson, HUD Secretary under President George W. Bush

  • 2005

    Delaware Rural Housing Consortium disbands.

  • dsclt_200x1502006

    Diamond State CLT is formed.

  • homeless-thumb_340x1662007

    Village of Eastlake (HOPE VI) completed.

    Financial Crisis and Great Recession

    Release of Delaware’s Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness And Reduce Long-Term Homelessness

  • nsp-logo2008

    Interfaith Community Housing Delaware results from merger of Community Housing Inc. (CHI) and Interfaith Housing of Delaware.

    The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) creates the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and other recovery initiatives.

  • manufactured-housing-thumb_250x1662009

    Minquadale Village becomes the first resident owned manufactured home community (ROC) in Delaware.

    Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary under President Barack Obama.

    The HEARTH Act reauthorizes McKinney-Vento.

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides $787 billion in stimulus funds including money for homelessness and foreclosure prevention.

  • foreclosure-thumb_340x1662010

    Foreclosure filings reach an annual record total of 6,457 in Delaware.


  • HUD
  • James Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (Simon & Schuster, 1993)
  • Morris Milgram, Good Neighborhood: The Challenge of Open Housing (W.W. Norton, 1977).
  • Florence Wagman Roisman, “End Residential Racial Segregation: Build Communities That Look Like America,” Harvard Law and Policy Review Online, (2008)>
  • Shelterforce Magazine
  • Wikipedia