Info & FAQ

Our Policies & Procedures

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of the organization?
The Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank (WNCLB) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our purpose is to return vacant, dilapidated, abandoned, and delinquent properties to productive use in order to strengthen and revitalize neighborhoods and spur economic development in the City of Wilmington.
What programs does WNCLB offer?

Throughout the City of Wilmington, the WNCLB owns neglected and blighted properties with the goal of selling these units to a buyer that will rehab the homes and bring them up to City code within 18 months.

There are 3 types of approved property uses all with a recorded 5-year Enforcement Agreement:

  • Homestead/ $1 Sales Price: The applicant lives in the unit as their primary residence.
  • Investor Rehab/ $2,000 Sales Price: Purchaser rehabs the unit and sells only for homeownership with no investor to investor sales.
  • Investor Owner/ $2,000 Sales Price: Keep the property for use as an AFFORDABLE rental, adhering to the WNCLB rental requirements.
Do I need to be a resident of Wilmington, Delaware to apply?
No. However, should multiple applications be received that meet all criteria, City of Wilmington residents will be given priority.
How do I get an updated inventory list?

Please visit our website monthly for the current list. The Land Bank focuses in one area per month. Focusing on a select area makes a significant impact on neighborhood revitalization and increases the surrounding property values. 

How often is the inventory updated?

The inventory is updated monthly on our website. 

What are the steps in the process to get a property?
  • Select an available property from the current inventory list.
  • The Land Bank will hold 2 open houses a month for the current inventory. Please see the “Announcements” section on our home page for the available dates. You will also need to complete a waiver and forward to Natalie DiCostanza at PRIOR to your visit. 
  • If you wish to move forward with purchasing the unit, you will need to have a licensed contractor complete the scope of work in the application for your program choice.
  • Submit the completed application with the scope of work along with proof of funds on or before the submission date as noted on our homepage under the “Announcements” section. All application decisions are determined the first Wednesday of each month at our Board of Directors meeting. You will be notified via email as to your application’s status.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The Land Bank offers bi-weekly zoom information sessions-every other Thursday starting at 6:00 p.m. The link will be updated and available under the “Announcements” section on our home page. 
What is a scope of work?

The scope of work is completed by a licensed contractor. It must include all trades, material and labor needed to renovate the home and adhere to the City of Wilmington’s building codes. The scope of work is provided to you in an excel format under the “Programs” tab of our website. Within your total rehab cost, you will need to include the properties purchase price and a 15% contingency for your project. 

Can I view the unit prior to purchase?

Yes. See our website monthly for the available open house dates/times under the “Announcements” section on our homepage.

What are the restrictions placed on the property?
The restrictions on the property are called the WNCLB Enforcement Agreement. This is a 5-year lien against the property, placed on the parcel to ensure all building, rental, and homeownership requirements are achieved. Once all of the conditions are met, the lien is discharged. Should the purchaser not adhere to any of the terms, conditions, and/or policies of the WNCLB Enforcement Agreement, WNCLB reserves to the right to take back the asset with a Deed in Lieu agreement.
Can I get more than one unit at a time?
WNCLB’s committee recommends one unit at a time. Once the unit is 90% completed, you may apply for a second property.
When do I need to provide evidence of the proof of funds?
Proof of funds are part of the application submission and must include all sufficient funds needed to renovate the building to current City of Wilmington’s codes.
What are proof of funds?

You may show your proof of funds with the following: recent bank accounts, 401 K, open lines of credit, or hard money loans with a surety bond if needed. The name and address of the applicant on the application must match those of the proof of funds. For example, Mary Smith’s name and address on the application must match the name and address on the bank statements provided in the proof of funds. 

What are the conditions of utilizing a hard money loan?
If you are utilizing a loan, 30% of the total rehab cost must come from the applicant. Should the applicant not have the 30% needed, a surety bond will be accepted to guarantee the funds.
What constitutes a completed application?
The application form is completed in its entirety. The scope of work includes all trades for full renovation to meet the required City code requirements (the three trades must be on contractor’s letterhead with accurate pricing). The proof of funds available must cover the total rehab costs, and also attach a copy of a valid ID.
Where do I begin with the permitting process?

You must contact the City of Wilmington, Delaware Department of Licenses and Inspections Department before you begin the work on the unit. The Licenses and Inspections employee will do a walk-through of the house with you and inform you of the next steps in the process. You will not be able to pull any permits until the “walk- through” is completed.

What happens to the Enforcement Agreement if I am rehabbing the home to sell for homeownership?
When you are ready to sell the home, you must disclose with the realtor and the general public that there is a 5-year owner occupancy enforcement mortgage on the home. The agreement will transfer to the buyer and the documents will need to be signed at settlement.
What to do if you buy a home in a “Historical District”

All permitting and renovation on the exterior will have to be approved by the Planning Department. Please visit the City of Wilmington, Delaware’s website to determine the Historic District boundaries, zoning and code information.

Do we sell vacant land?
We only sell vacant parcels of land to an adjoining property owner to use as a side yard. Side lots may not be utilized for parking, retail/commercial purposes, car repairs, or storage. Additionally, new structures are prohibited from being built on the lot.
If I lost my house at a tax sale and the land bank owns the home now can I buy it back for $2,000?
No, the prior owner of a parcel cannot re-buy that parcel after the Sheriff Sale process.

Ready to get started?

Find a program that works best for your situation.