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DSHA Announces DDD Grant Program – $7 Million Available!

Governor Jack Markell and Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi announced last week the launch of the Downtown Development Districts (DDD) Grant Program. $7 million in DDD Grant funding is now available for investments in recently designated areas of Wilmington, Dover and Seaford that need rehabilitation, expansion or new construction of commercial, industrial, residential (including multi-family), and mixed-use buildings or facilities located within the boundaries of a District.

Please view the Frequently Asked Questions, DDD Designations press release, and the DDD Grant Program press release. 

DSHA has established two funding set-asides for DDD Grant Awards, one for small projects with an investment of less than $250,000, and another for investors of over $250,000. More detailed information on these set-asides is available online at Small Project Set-Aside At-A-Glance and Large Project Set-Aside At-A-Glance.

The DDD Grant Program application is available online. Projects seeking a Large Project reservation must apply by March 20, 2015. Small Project applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. 

If you have any questions regarding the DDD Grant Program, please contact Penny Pierson, Management Analyst II, at (302) 739-0246 or Penny@destatehousing.com.

Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart Announces Substantial Decreases in Workers’ Compensation Rates

DOVER, DE  – Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart today approved the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau’s workers’ compensation amended rate filing, resulting in overall average decreases of 9.7% in the residual market rate and 11.5% in the voluntary market loss cost.

The decreases are the result of cooperation among the DCRB, the Department of Insurance and Delaware’s Ratepayer Advocate, and are expected to save employers approximately $20 million in insurance costs this year.

“After several years of rate increases, I am pleased to announce a decrease in the premium most business owners will pay this year when purchasing workers’ compensation insurance,” said Commissioner Stewart. “As I said when the preliminary numbers were released in the fall, the decrease is the result of all the stakeholders working together to bring down Delaware’s high health care costs, which have been driving rates up over recent years.

“I want to thank the General Assembly for passing House Bill 373 last session, requiring that medical costs be reduced over the next three years.  I particularly want to thank my fellow members of the Governor’s Workers Compensation Oversight Panel, including Chair Rich Heffron, and Attorney General Matt Denn, past Chair of Workers’ Compensation Task Force, for doing the hard work that laid the foundation for HB 373.”

The effective date of the decrease is retroactive to December 1, 2014 for new and renewal business.


Learn how your business could save up to 19% on workers’ compensation insurance premiums by participating in the
Delaware Workplace Safety Program. Learn more about the program by visiting:
Or by calling 302-674-7377.


Learn What Benefits Connection Can Do For You!

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Benefits Connection Renewal Meeting

The intent of the meeting is to provide assistance to current Benefits Connection members through the health insurance renewal process for April 1st 2015, as well as to educate any and all members on what the Benefits Connection can do for them.

One of the biggest benefits that the Benefits Connection provides to Home Builders Association members is a free, customized HR and Employee Benefit website.  Essentially, it allows each business to manage their HR and employee benefit programs electronically and it’s free to all Home Builders Association members.

Key Points Include:

  • Renewal information and Q&A for those firms currently in Benefits Connection
  • Information for other prospect members to learn more about Benefits Connection
  • Information for all to know their existing mandatory compliance requirements
  • Information that all members can take advantage of free HR navigation portal

Compliance issues regarding the Affordable Care Act  will also be covered as there are required filing and notifications that all employers must follow and adhere to if they offer benefits regardless of the employer size.

For more information review the brochures below:

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Karins and Associates Announces Acquisition of Fair Hill Engineering, LLC

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17 Polly Drummond Center, Newark, DE 19711
128 W. Market Street, Georgetown, DE  19947
(302) 369-2900 – FAX (302) 369-2975


For more information, contact Dev Sitaram, PE, President
Karins and Associates
(302) 369-2900

Karins and Associates Announces Acquisition of Fair Hill Engineering, LLC

(Newark, DE – January 15, 2015)  Karins and Associates, a full service engineering firm in Newark, Delaware, has acquired the assets and book of business of Fair Hill Engineering, LLC, an engineering services firm in Elkton, Maryland.

Founded in 1973, Karins and Associates is a full service consulting firm that provides civil engineering, planning and surveying services in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.  With a certified staff of professional engineers, professional land surveyors, survey crews and designers, Karins and Associates offer a full service engineering solution to any project.

According to Dev Sitaram, PE, President, Karins and Associates, “This acquisition allows us to reinforce our offerings in the State of Maryland and support our client needs.  We are excited to add the experience and expertise of John M. Mascari, P.E, and Fair Hill Engineering, LLC to our team.”

Fair Hill Engineering, LLC, was established in 2005.  As licensed engineers, they provided services to clients in Cecil County and Harford County within the State of Maryland, as well as New Castle County, Delaware and surrounding areas.  They specialized in residential and commercial land development, major and minor subdivision, Environmental Site Design (ESD), stormwater management, erosion and sediment control and infrastructure improvement projects.  They also provided civil engineering professional services to property owners who needed Final Lot Grading Plans and Entrance Plans to obtain permits for their site improvement project.

“Our team is very excited to be joining forces with the experience and talent at Karins and Associates”, said John M. Mascari, P.E., President, Fair Hill Engineering, LLC, “We can now offer the wisdom of experience and diversity of services to our clients in house and both companies will expand their presence in the State of Maryland.”

For more information, contact Dev Sitaram, PE, at (302) 369-2900 or visit www.karinsengineering.com

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NAHB Wants You To Succeed

NAHB Succeed Sticks and Bricks

2015 HBA/DE IBS Reception a great success!

The Home Builders Association of Delaware IBS Reception, in honor of HBA/DE Members and Kevin Kelly, 2014 NAHB Chairman, was held yesterday, Wednesday, January 21st, at The Encore Resort in Las Vegas.


Attendees had a chance to catch-up and unwind after a day of networking and learning at the 2015 International Builders Show (IBS). Beverages and hors d’oeuvres were provided, as well as entertainment by Mentalist, Magician, and Comedian: Kevin Viner, who wowed guests. The reception had a great showing, with nearly 50 members and guests attending in support.

The Home Builders Association of Delaware would like to thank Kevin and Marcia Kelly for hosting the reception in their hotel suite at the Encore, giving attendees an opportunity to mingle and network with them and their family on the last night of Kevin’s rein as the 2014 National Association of Home Builders Chairman.

In addition, we offer Special Thanks to our Sponsors who helped us hold this great reception:




Becker Morgan Group Ranks in 2014 List of Top Architecture/Engineering Firms

becker morgan

For Immediate Release
Date: January 21, 2015

Becker Morgan Group Ranks in Building Design + Construction Giants 300 Report for Top Architecture/Engineering Firms

Building Design + Construction magazine ranked Becker Morgan Group #61 on the 2014 Giants 300 list of the Top Architecture/Engineering Firms. The report ranks leading firms in the nation’s architecture, engineering, and construction industry. In addition to ranking #61 of the largest architecture/engineering firms in the United States, the firm was also ranked among the top architecture firms in numerous building sectors, including K-12 (#53), University (#93), Convention Center (#11), Cultural Facility (#28), Local Government (#37), Military (#48), Government Sector (#46), Sports Facility (#37), Retail (#60), Multi-Family (#83), Industrial (#52), and Religious (#29). Additionally, the firm ranked #95 on the Top BIM Architecture Firms for their use of 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) in project planning and design.

Becker Morgan Group provides Architecture & Engineering services with offices in Delaware, Maryland, and North Carolina. For more information, visit www.beckermorgan.com.


Contact: Elaina C. Iosue
Becker Morgan Group, Inc.

End Veteran Homelessness Challenge Progression of Events

Dover Mayor's Challenge

Goal: To assist Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, who signed on to the Mayors Challenge, involve community partners to help end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015 in the Capital City.

Location: DelTech Terry Campus
Date: January 22nd, 2015

9:00 – 9:45  Welcome, Pledge of Allegiance and Opening Prayer

Master of Ceremonies:  Bill Farley, Chair of the Dover Working Group to End Veteran Homelessness

  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Opening Prayer
  • Welcome and Objective: Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen
  • Greetings from Partners: Representatives from Delaware State Housing Authority and Delaware Technical Community College
  • Role of Working Group to End Veteran Homelessness in Dover: Bill Farley

9:45 – 11:00  The Face of Homelessness and Options for Housing Homeless Veterans

Moderator:  Jay Hills, Homeless Program Supervisor, Veterans Administration

  • Homelessness Across the Nation
  • Local Veterans Tell Their Stories
  • Veteran Administration Programs to Help House Veterans
  • S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Housing Options
  • Homeless Planning Council of Delaware Surveys: Community Planning and Engagement Director, Rachel Beatty
  • Delaware State Resources for Housing Homeless Veterans: Delaware State Housing Authority Director of Policy and Planning, Marlena Gibson

11:00 – 11:15  Break

11:15 – 12:00  Helping Homeless Veterans on the Front Lines

  • Dover Interfaith Mission
  • Connections, Inc.

12:00 -1:15  Boxed Lunch- Engaging Community Partners to End Veteran Homelessness
Cynthia Haines, Senior Management Analyst, HUD Pittsburgh and Maura A. “Mo” Gillen,Deputy Executive Director, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware & Bucks Counties, Veterans Multi-Service Center, Inc. (VMAC)

1:15 – 2:15 Getting Results the Boot Camp Way

Segment Speaker:  Executive Director of the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware, Phyllis Chamberlain

  • What is a boot camp?
  • How does it work?
  • Do you want to be part of this?
  • Who from your organization should participate?

2:15 – 2:45 Putting it all together-Next Steps

Segment Speaker:  Bill Farley

2:45 -3:00 Closing Remarks and Adjourn

Master of Ceremonies:  Bill Farley

Debra Young to lead private Universal Design products tour for IHA at IBS


Debra Young, EmpowerAbility LLC, has been invited to be a private tour guide at the 2015 International Builders Show (IBS) for a group of international attendees for the 50+ Housing Council Universal Design Day Products Tour.

Debra Young will be meeting with members of the International Housing Association (IHA). Specifically, Presidents and CEO’s of organizations from around the world that represent the home building industry.

Established in 1983, The IHA provides its members with a unique global forum for networking, information sharing and discussion of common issues and concerns related to housing and the home building sector. IHA members regularly exchange information on key issues related to national and international housing construction and development; including topics such as global economic and industry analysis, taxation, new technologies, regulations, housing choice and affordability, social housing needs, land planning, energy efficiency and sustainability and international cooperation.

In addition, Debra Young will be a  tour guide for the Remodeler’s Aging-in-Place product tour as well as a guest presenter at several education sessions, during IBS, including: Are You Ready For The Silver Tsunami and Aging-in-Place: An Individualized Approach Will Set Your Business Apart.

Congratulations to Debra Young on all her success.

Beach Hotel Deals from Expedia

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Happy 2015!  We are promoting Expedia’s Beach Sale this month.  Be sure to share this with your members so they can save on beach getaways this winter!

Soak up some much needed Vitamin D at one of Expedia’s beach destinations. Link your NPP/Expedia accounts to save an extra 10% on all future hotel stays for you and your family.

If your account is already linked, go directly to Expedia.com to book your next stay.

Your employees are also eligible to access these savings for their travel.



Source: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d1a4d91f0e7e461d4002cc37c&id=7f4c9e20a0&e=f538735b37

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  • NLRB Overturns Browning-Ferris Decision; Reinstates Prior Joint Employer Standard December 15, 2017
    In a victory for NAHB and the small business community, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted on Dec. 14 to overturn its 2015 ruling in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries. Yesterday's 3-2 vote effectively overturns an Obama-era decision that radically expanded the traditional definition for joint employer status.
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