Vacant Spaces to Livable Places

New Castle County recognizes that vacant and abandoned properties become breeding grounds for crime, are targets for arson and become a health and safety hazard for their surrounding communities. These properties also drive additional costs to taxpayers by diverting public safety resources and forcing county government to pay for basic property maintenance, grass mowing, trash collection and illegal dumping. Additionally, vacant and abandoned housing has been shown to depress neighborhood property values and reduce tax revenues that fund critical public services.

But no more.  New Castle County’s Vacant Spaces to Livable Places program is an exciting new initiative that encourages the redevelopment of vacant properties into healthy, livable homes in order to remove community eyesores and stabilize neighborhoods.   

Vacant Legis Signing

  1. The Program
  2. For Owners
  3. For Investors

home1Vacant and blighted properties, which can lead to increased crime and other unsavory behavior, are an important issue in maintaining and revitalizing healthy communities. Strategic management of vacant properties has been successful in addressing these issues, which in turn helps to preserve surrounding property values and reduce maintenance costs to local governments. 

County Executive Meyer formed the New Castle County Vacant Housing Working Group in an effort to have all county departments leverage their collective resources to address this growing problem.  In addition to the County Executive's Office, other working group members include the Departments of Land Use, Community Services, Law, Finance and Public Safety, as well as County Council and the Sheriff's Office. 

In addition to the utilization of county resources, several grants have been applied for and received by the County including a $100,000 grant from the Delaware State Housing Authority to be applied towards the maintenance of vacant properties, a $1.3 Million grant from the Delaware State Housing Authority to develop and rehabilitate properties along the Route 9 corridor, and a $25,000 planning grant from the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) to develop community plans for Edgemoor Gardens and Sparrow Run, which have very high rates of vacancy, crime and blight.

New Castle County’s vision is to create a program that allows vacant properties to be occupied by new homeowners or redeveloped without the need for a long foreclosure process or significant investment by taxpayers.


In the news...

New Castle County takes new action to tackle neighborhood blight

NCCo plan addresses growing number of vacant homes

New Castle County clamps down on vacant homes

State gives local government more teeth to fight vacant homes

Vacantmap property in your neighborhood? 

The Department of Land Use has identified over 1,100 vacant properties, inclusive of abandoned structures and open lots.  If you suspect a vacant property in your neighborhood, please contact us at (302) 395-5555 or report it to our online property maintenance system.



bookExecutive and Legislative Authority

Vacant Spaces to Livable Places was created through a series of executive orders and enabling legislation.  Those documents can be found below.


New Castle County:

State of Delaware