Efforts to provide low-cost housing in the United States have
traditionally taken two forms -- building housing projects and giving assistance to
renters. And though both are sorely needed, developers and local planners, at the behest
of residents, are also beginning to provide affordable houses that people of moderate
means can purchase. The developers of McCaulley Court have taken this strategy to heart.
Just a few blocks from the city center, in a neighborhood in desperate need of housing,
empty lots had long languished. After endless delays by the developer who owned them, the
lots became property of the city. The city's planning department collaborated with local
residents on the scope and style of what should be built. Designed to hark back to
traditional development, McCaulley Court created two-, three- and four-bedroom brick
houses that fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. In 1998, the project was finished
and the units were quickly sold.
Like many downtown neighborhoods, McCaulley Court is well located just blocks from the
city center, has access to public transportation and is walking distance from schools and
stores. Projects like McCaulley Court that give residents a stake in the future do more
than provide housing, they help stabilize and restore neglected neighborhoods and reduce
the pressure to sprawl.
Bayside (Selbyville) Lax Regulations Lead to Massive Sprawl
Delaware's Sussex County has experienced explosive growth over the last
several years. With little public transportation or land-use planning, development has
sprawled across the county and overwhelmed the area's roads, water supply and sewer
systems. Ten-mile traffic jams, low water pressure and overloaded sewers have been the
A new 2,800-home development, Americana Bayside, now threatens to add more pressure to
the overloaded infrastructure of southern Delaware. Located outside the town of
Selbyville, this development has all the hallmarks of suburban sprawl: It's far from
existing communities, it has no access to public transportation and the development,
consisting mostly of houses and a golf course, does little to provide for the needs of its
residents. To make matters worse, over 200 acres of wetlands will be sacrificed to build
Since there is no public transportation nearby and only limited public transportation
in the region as a whole, the only means of travel for most residents is by automobile.
But the roads and highways in the area are already choked with traffic, and residents of
Selbyville are worried that the road to the new development is inadequate.
Unfortunately, there is little local residents can do. Delaware lacks crucial land-use
planning regulations that would have allowed the town to have more say in Sussex County's