About the Eastside Neighborhood of Wilmington, DE
The Eastside of the City of Wilmington, Delaware (City), has suffered significant decline over the past several decades. Dating back to the 1600’s, this community, rich in history, historic buildings, and historic districts, currently contains a significant number of vacant and blighted housing, a disproportionate number of renters compared to homeownership, a median household income considerably less than the City average, and lack of private investment due to the deterioration of this neighborhood.
Situational Analysis of the Eastside Neighborhood:
- The East Side community contains approximately 2,000 housing units on roughly 1,400 residential parcels. Approximately 17% of these units are vacant compared to the City average of 12%. These housing units are too small to function as sufficient homes for modern families with children. The homes are less than 1,000 square feet, have only two bedrooms, small backyards, and no off-street parking. A disproportionate number of rentals compared to homeownership units dwell in this community with statistics showing an increasing trend in rental units.
- The US Census reports that in the year 2000, 61.9% of homes on the East Side are renter occupied and in 2010, 62.6% are renter occupied housing. Because of the low percentage of owner occupied units, renters take less pride in their home and community and contribute significantly to its demise. The East Side also has a higher number of households earning fewer than 30% of median income as defined by the 2013 HUD Income guidelines.
- The US Census Bureau also reports that 47.2% of these households earn less than $15,000 as compared to the City of Wilmington household average of 22.2% earning less than $15,000. Additionally, the East Side is predominately residential with few neighborhood stores and businesses to support the local demand for products and services. Lack of commercial and retail advantages have had a damaging impact on economic benefits such as lack of “good paying” jobs and unemployment.
Study entitled “Wilmington East Side Neighborhood Investment Plan” was conducted by KSK Architects Planners Historians Inc., Timothy Crawl-Bey & Associates, and RES Advisors (November 2013); based on 2010 US Census data (subset of tracts 9 and 29) and 2011 Crime city data