Sussex County Rental Program

In December 2008, the Sussex County Council approved the Sussex County Rental Program (SCRP). The SCRP was created because of the significant lack of affordable rental housing in the County. There are approximately 3,600 renter households making below $20,000 and paying more than 30% of income on housing costs. Based on the most recent Department of Labor data, the fastest growing jobs are in the lowest paying sector: the service industry. New development is not adequately addressing the rental housing needs of the County’s low and moderate income residents and workforce. Without an adequate supply of affordable rental housing in close proximity to employment and town centers, the County’s workforce must commute a great distance for work. Not only do long commutes have a negative effect on the environment and transportation, but commuting also comes with high fuel expenses.

The Sussex County Rental Program seeks to provide affordable rental housing to County residents that are unable or not ready to pursue homeownership. Applicants must have a household income between 30% to 80% of the Area Median Income for Sussex County. They must also be employed and live in Sussex County for at least one year preceding application to the SCRP. Sussex County employers may seek a waiver to this restriction. Participants in the SCRP must occupy the unit as their principal residence during the lease period. The rental rate is determined by calculating 25% of the total gross monthly income of the household.

This program is not mandatory, so in order to stimulate the program we offer developer incentives to construct these affordable units. The incentives include a density bonus of 20%, not to exceed 12 units per acre, and an expedited review through the County’s Planning & Zoning process. For projects of 25 to 64 total units, the developer must contribute 40% to SCRP inventory. For those projects with 65 or more units, 15% must go to SCRP inventory, with a minimum of 26 SCRP units. All parcels must be on Qualifying Land, as described in the SCRP Ordinance. All SCRP units will remain affordable for the Control Period of 30 years. These units may never be leased as market-rate during this time. All SCRP units must be fully integrated into the communities for which they are a part and shall not be substantially different in appearance from market-rate units.

A summary of the SCRP is available for your perusal.

Please feel free to read the SCRP Ordinance for a more detailed description of the program.

If you are interested in being put on the waiting list for an SCRP unit, please contact Brandy Nauman at (302) 855-7779 or via email.

**NOTE: Because the SCRP is a pilot program, there are a few changes that will be made to the Ordinance. While we take the time to complete the changes, the Request for Proposal application process for developers is temporarily closed. We apologize for any inconvenience.