New Fresh Start program helping families hurt by foreclosure during recession
DOVER — A new state program is designed to help families and individuals who have experienced foreclosures, job loss, or other financial difficulties stemming from the financial crisis that began in 2008, Governor John Carney and other officials announced today.
Fresh Start, a partnership between the Delaware State Housing Authority and the state’s financial empowerment program, $tand By Me, offers free financial coaching to help Delawareans get past setbacks and move toward home ownership again.
“Home ownership is a fundamental element of our economy and important to ensuring our neighborhoods thrive,” said Governor Carney. “We have to make sure that all Delawareans have an opportunity to succeed, achieve financial stability and strengthen their communities. Through Fresh Start, we are giving people the tools they need to help them work through economic challenges.”
The statewide program, funded by bank settlements, was developed to help Delawareans who lost their homes due to foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu arrangements, said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. They may wish to improve credit, increase savings, or decrease debt to put them in a better position to buy a home or rent.
“Fresh Start reaches Delawareans who have struggled to recover and get back on the path to financial stability,” Ben Addi said. “Losing your home or job is painful and a significant challenge, but with the right coaching and assistance, we can help Delaware families move forward again.”
$tand By Me works with nonprofits to offer personal financial coaching, with four coaches statewide devoted to helping Fresh Start clients.
“Our goal is to provide people with the information, resources and support they need to establish and achieve their financial goals,” said $tand By Me Director Mary Dupont. Since it began six years ago, $tand By Me has served more than 75,000 Delawareans, including more than 14,000 who have participated in financial coaching.
Governor Carney and other leaders spoke at an event today formally kicking the program off at the Goodwill store at Lea Blvd in Wilmington. Goodwill is one of three nonprofits with Fresh Start financial coaches, along with NCALL Research and Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware.
Information on Fresh Start can be found at standbymede.org/fresh, or a coach can be reached by calling:
New Castle County: 302-504-3549 or 302-652-3991, ext. 106
Kent County: 302-678-9400
Sussex County: 302-855-1370
Delaware also offers assistance to people facing foreclosure or going through the process. The Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program has helped 665 people with emergency mortgage loans since 2007.
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Dan Shortridge, Director of Public Relations
Delaware State Housing Authority