Delaware State Housing Authority Releases Delaware Housing Needs Assessment 2015-2020

Press Contact: Christina M. Hardin-Dirksen Chief of Community Relations, DSHA Phone: (302) 739-4263 Email: DELAWARE STATE HOUSING AUTHORITY RELEASES DELAWARE HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT 2015-2020

Governor smallGovernor Jack Markell

September 8, 2014 (Dover) – Stakeholders, including government, nonprofit and for-profit partners and service providers, joined DSHA at Delaware Technical and Community College’s Terry Campus in Dover, Delaware to hear the key findings. Governor Jack Markell noted, “Housing is a critical part of our economy and our communities, and our homes and neighborhoods are also the center of family life. Affordable housing needs affect so many of the other outcomes we care about – in health, education, economic growth, land use, and downtown revitalization.”

DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi added, “While DSHA’s mission is affordable housing, it is inseparable from broader housing trends. We need to understand housing demand and the housing market as a whole in order to work within it to advance affordable housing and community development, which is exactly what this needs assessment and market value analysis help us do.”

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DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi

Rebecca Rothenberg, Planning Manager at GCR Incorporated, which led the project team, stated, “This study illustrates the current housing climate in Delaware and the challenges many families face in finding quality housing that is affordable to them. Some of the bigger trends – including a drop in homeownership rates, an increased demand for rental housing, shrinking household sizes, and the needs of aging homeowners – reflect issues relevant today. It also discusses the persistent affordability challenges for low-income households, particularly the working poor and very low-income families, who have difficulty finding rental housing they can afford. Oftentimes, these families reside in distressed neighborhoods with high poverty rates.”

Affordable housing pressures have increased in recent years, with stresses on household incomes and increased demand for rental units both as a result of demographic changes and the foreclosure crisis. Statewide, 44,000 renters have housing challenges (paying more than 30% of their income for housing or living in overcrowded or deeply substandard living conditions), equal to 51% of renter households. Needs are most severe for those with very low incomes (50% of Area Median Income depending on location and household size; about $25,000/year), where 18,400 households are severely cost burdened, paying more than 50% of their income for housing costs.

Delaware has fared better than many of its neighbors in the recent recession and its economy remains strong for the region. Projected steady job growth will support household growth and subsequently new housing demand, although there remains some excess inventory in some areas. Home prices are also recovering, but slowly; on a positive note, this has made homeownership a more affordable option for many households who were priced out in the housing boom. The new construction market is responding to changing demand with smaller, more affordable units closer in to towns and cities.

Ira Goldstein, President of Policy Solutions at The Reinvestment Fund, which completed the Market Value Analysis section of the research, stated, “TRF is gratified to have contributed to Delaware State Housing Authority’s understanding of the needs of its housing markets. We look forward to the state using this analysis to make impactful, evidence-based decisions about its housing programs and resources.”

The Governor added, “Successful community development, neighborhood revitalization, and downtown development initiatives must recognize and work in concert with their local housing market. This research helps us all to better understand those forces in order to shape the most effective responses.”

To view the Delaware Housing Needs Assessment, visit:

About the Delaware State Housing Authority The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), formed in 1968, is dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. In addition to its role as the State’s Housing Finance Agency, DSHA is unique in that it is also serves as a Public Housing Authority and acts as a Community Development and Planning Agency. As a Public Housing Authority, DSHA receives funding from HUD to build, own and operate public housing in Kent and Sussex counties, two of Delaware’s three counties. For more information about the Delaware State Housing Authority, please call: (302) 739-4263 or visit our website at:

About The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) TRF is a national leader in rebuilding America’s distressed towns and cities and does this work through the innovative use of capital and information. TRF has made $1.3 billion in community investments since 1985. As a CDFI, TRF finances projects related to housing, community facilities, food access, commercial real estate, and energy efficiency. It also provides public-policy expertise by helping clients create practical solutions and by sharing data and analyses via To learn more about TRF, visit Follow us on Twitter @trfund or Facebook at To learn more about TRF, visit

About GCR GCR, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm with a focus on the aviation industry, has delivered solutions to airports for over 35 years. GCR’s staff uses an in-depth understanding of the aviation industry, coupled with technological expertise, to develop and implement comprehensive solutions that address operational complexities in airport and aviation organizations. GCR delivers consulting services and technology solutions in aviation, disaster assistance recovery, nuclear power, public safety, and urban planning. For more information, visit