Delaware Mortgage Relief Program Approved By U.S. Department Of The Treasury

Program To Open Statewide In The Summer Of 2022

DOVER, Del., June 13, 2022 – Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) announced today that the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program plan received approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. With approval in hand, the agency is scheduled to launch the program statewide in the next 45 days.

The Delaware Mortgage Relief Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and Homeowners Assistance Fund, will provide up to $40,000 in financial assistance to eligible households who experienced a COVID-19-related financial hardship that resulted in mortgage delinquency or forbearance.

“Every day, our staff works hard to help Delawareans achieve homeownership. Yet, it is important to know that is not where our support stops,” said Eugene Young, Jr., Executive Director of DSHA. “This program will allow Delawareans to stay in their homes as we continue to recover from the pandemic.”

The Delaware Mortgage Relief Program covers the following delinquencies: mortgage, property tax, chattel loan, land lease, water and sewer utilities, homeowner or condominium association fees, and homeowner insurance. Eligible homeowners must meet the following requirements:

  • Delaware resident who owns and occupies their home in Delaware as their primary residence
  • Income at or below 150 % Area Median Income (AMI) or 100% of the Median Income for the United States, whichever is greater (Find your AMI here)
  • Financial hardship after January 21, 2020, such as reduced income or increased expenses
  • Delinquent by at least 30 days, including any payments during a forbearance period.

Delawareans can download the Mortgage Relief Supporting Document Checklist here to prepare for the program application.

For updates about the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program, Delawareans are encouraged to visit www.demortgagehelp.com or call (888) 303-4324.


Delaware State Housing Authority Extends The Length Of Rental Assistance Available

DEHAP Program Increases from 15 Months to 18 Months

Spanish graphicDOVER, Del., April 21, 2022 – Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) announced today that eligible Delaware renters can now receive up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance through its Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DEHAP).

Previously, the DEHAP provided 15 months of rental and utility assistance. The additional three months will give extra time for eligible Delaware renters in need to reduce the risk of eviction, housing instability, or financial insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re proud to announce this update to the DEHAP program,” said Eugene R. Young, Jr., Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “While the difference of three months may seem negligible to some, we know that it makes a world of difference for Delawareans in need.”

Applicants who have already met the prior 15-month limit can re-apply for the additional three months and are encouraged to visit their DEHAP portal profile via decovidhousinghelp.com or contact the DEHAP Call Center at (866) 935-0407 for further information and reapplication guidance.

Those who seek to start a new application or check program eligibility can do so by visiting decovidhousinghelp.com, texting “RentHelp” to (302) 204 -5676, or contact one of the 15 DEHAP community navigator organizations throughout the state for application assistance.

Creole graphicThe current version of the DEHAP was launched in March 2021 to provide emergency housing assistance to renters affected by shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours, unpaid leave, or financial hardship related to the COVID-19 health crisis. The program assists with rental arrears from April 2020 and up to three months of prospective rent or security deposits up to $2,000/month. DEHAP can also cover utilities due to the landlord, late fees, and court fees. Per U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance, participants can request up to three months of assistance at a time.

Since its launch, DEHAP has dispersed over $55 million in rent and utility assistance, helping close to 10,000 Delawareans. DEHAP is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury distributed to Delaware in December 2020 and March 2021.

“DEHAP is a considerable asset for our state. So, if you’re looking for a sign to apply, this is it. The program is available, and DSHA is eager to help you as we all recover from the effects of the pandemic,” Young said.

 

About 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 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 DSHA, please call (302) 739-4263 or visit destatehousing.com.

 


Senator Gay and Delaware State Housing Authority Secure ARPA Funding to Create Rent Reporting Pilot Program

DOVER — Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, in partnership with the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), secured $200,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding this month for an innovative pilot program that will help low-income renters in Delaware build credit.

The Tenant Rent-Reporting Pilot Program will subsidize the cost of reporting rent payments to the major credit bureaus for low-income tenants and housing assistance recipients in Delaware, allowing those families to use their rent payments to build their credit history.

“We know that payment history is the primary factor in determining credit scores, but unlike many other recurring payments, rental payments are not automatically reflected on credit reports,” said Sen. Gay, D-Talleyville, “This pilot program will fill that large gap by ensuring that on-time rental payments are reported to credit agencies, thereby providing struggling families access to new opportunities to improve their financial standing.”

The goal of the program is to help renters increase their credit score by demonstrating reliable payment history. Although rent payments are often the largest monthly household expense for tenants, most rental payments are not reported to the large credit reporting bureaus. As a result, many renters’ credit scores fail to reflect their true credit risk. This, in turn, can lead to a decrease in financial mobility and maintain barriers to home ownership, personal and business loans, jobs requiring credit checks, and affordable financial products like insurance.

“The Tenant Rent-Reporting Pilot is among the first statewide housing programs to utilize ARPA funding in an innovative and relevant way,” said Eugene R. Young Jr., Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “The investment in this initiative will ensure that Delawareans can achieve greater financial and housing success. The agency’s priority is to consider sustainability and expansion while implementing the pilot program.”

A third-party administrator selected by DSHA will operate the pilot program. The program will subsidize 12 consecutive months of rent reporting service for up to 400 tenants who either have an income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level or receive housing assistance from one of the state’s five public housing authorities. The program is expected to begin in the fall of 2022 and conclude in 2024.

Participation in the program will be voluntary, and while all tenants who meet those qualifications will be eligible, the program will focus on recruiting tenants who belong to historically disadvantaged populations, including people of color. The program will also ensure geographical representation of tenants throughout the state. By helping tenants raise their credit scores, they will be better equipped to transition away from housing assistance and into the private rental market or homeownership.

“Homeownership remains part of the American Dream,” said Beau Zebley, Chair of the Delaware Association of REALTORS® Public Policy Committee. “The Delaware Association of REALTORS® fully supports programs, services, and resources that can make that possible for the people of the First State. We believe that the rent reporting pilot program brought forward by the DSHA could help renters improve their financial stability and help to position them for homeownership. We thank Sen. Gay and the DSHA for spearheading this initiative and are eager to see the results of the program.”

The launch of the Tenant Rent-Reporting Pilot Program follows changes occurring at the federal level. The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) updated its underwriting software in 2021 so that lenders can now automatically detect applicants’ recurring rent payments and consider that information in their credit assessment. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) recently began providing closing cost credits on multi-family loans for owners of rental properties who agree to report tenants’ on-time rental payments.

About Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA)
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 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 DSHA, please call (302) 739-4263 or visit destatehousing.com

 


Delaware State Housing Authority Grants $2.5 Million To Strengthen Statewide Partnerships For Its DEHAP Program

15 Community Organizations To Aid Delawareans In Need Of Rent And Utility Assistance

in person appication assistance

 DOVER, Del., March 24, 2022 – Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) has awarded $2.5 million in Community Navigation Program grants to 15 community partner organizations throughout the state. Each organization will have dedicated staff who will aid Delawareans seeking rent or utility assistance due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic. 

sussex county application assistanceThe 15 DEHAP Community Navigation partners include Brandywine Counseling and Community Services, Catholic Charities, Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, Rehoboth Community Resource Center, Housing Alliance Delaware, Latin American Community Center, Lutheran Community Services, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Ministry of Caring, NCALL Research Fund, New Castle County Government, People’s Place, Terrie M. Williams Expansion Project, West End Neighborhood House, and YWCA Delaware. 

“We’ve been helping the community with rental arrears for years and know that living paycheck to paycheck is like sailing on a rocking ship. If we can help calm the waters, then families can move forward successfully,” said Jo Allegro-Smith, Executive Director of the Community Resource Center. “No one organization can do it alone. The Community Navigation Program is a benefit because it brings together partners throughout the state to advocate on behalf of tenants. That’s how meaningful, long-term change for Delawareans is achieved.” 

Each organization is trained by DSHA and equipped to help the eligible Delawareans gather or scan required documentation, access the internet in areas where broadband is unreachable, submit applications through the online portal, and connect with DSHA to answer questions about application status.

new castle county application assistance“West End understands that Delawareans face a critical shortage of affordable housing and that teenagers and young adults face additional challenges that further complicate their ability to access such housing,” said Paul F. Calistro, Jr., Executive Director of the West End Neighborhood House, Inc. “We are grateful for this partnership with the Delaware State Housing Authority and are committed to helping increase access to affordable housing for those most in need.”

The DEHAP Community Navigation Program is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was distributed by the U.S. Treasury Department to Delaware in December 2020 and March 2021. The funds are being administered by DSHA and are available until 2025. 

kent county application assistance“We’re thrilled to partner with community organizations that are so passionately invested in keeping Delawareans housed,” Eugene Young, director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “These partnerships will produce the specific, individualized supports the community needs as the state recovers from the pandemic. Their participation will deepen and enrich the program’s reach and ensure that the federal dollars are spent efficiently. We’re thankful to work with them.”

The DEHAP Rental Assistance program provides emergency housing assistance to renters affected by shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours, unpaid leave, or financial hardship related to the COVID-19 health crisis. 

Since its launch, DEHAP has dispersed over $50 million in rent and utility assistance, helping over 8,000 Delawareans. For questions about DEHAP, please call 866-935-0407 or text (302) 204-5676. To apply online or learn more about the DEHAP Community Navigators, please visit https://decovidhousinghelp.com/.

 

About 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 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 DSHA, please call (302) 739-4263 or visit destatehousing.com


Downtown Development Districts Program Achieves Record Housing And Community Development In 2021

Over $12 Million In State Investments Highlighted In Annual Report And Interactive Story Map

 

The Downtown Development Districts (DDD) program, administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), recently released its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021) Annual Report and Story Map. 

Eligible Use and Construction Activity GraphicsDuring FY2021 and amid a global pandemic, 60 development projects throughout the state were completed. The majority of projects were residential, furthering Delaware’s commitment to creating a range of housing opportunities that build a strong customer base for nearby businesses.

The remaining projects were divided between the rehabilitation of mixed-use or commercial buildings, a strategy proven to remove blight, increase the number and type of living options in downtown areas, and maintain a city’s unique identity. 

“To date, 35 new homes have been built and half a dozen more are in the pipeline,” said Rob Pierce, Planning Director for the City of Milford. “The momentum from these investments has radiated outside of our downtown area. We’ve even seen an impact on our aging and neglected housing stock. Instead of tearing down the foundations and creating empty lots, DDD helps maintain the character of historic buildings in our city.” 

The 60 projects, 55 large and 5 small, received a total of $2.5 million in state funds. In addition, $10 million in state funds were reserved for 17 large projects and are expected to leverage $250 million in private investment. 

“Our town, like many others, was hit by a highway boom and our downtown area got left behind,” said Sara M. Bluhm, Economic Development and Community Engagement Administrator for the City of Milford. “Since being designated a Downtown Development District, we’ve seen several big investments in our commercial areas. We’re open for business again and our staff is enthusiastic to help others invest.”

The DDD program was created by legislation proposed by Governor Markell and passed unanimously in May 2014 by the General Assembly. Since its inception, the program has been a catalyst for private investment in Delaware’s downtowns, spurring 235 projects completed and placed in service. The districts include Clayton, Delaware City, Dover, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Middletown, Milford, New Castle, Seaford, Smyrna, and Wilmington.

Story Map ExampleFurther development successes can be found on the program’s Story Map. Created in partnership with the University of Delaware’s Institute of Public Administration and the Office of State Planning Coordination, this interactive website details the DDD projects that have received rebates or are currently in the pipeline.

“Viable, stable community development is a critical part of DSHA’s mission and we are thrilled to steward this funding to support economic growth in downtown areas throughout the state,” said DSHA Director Eugene R. Young, Jr. “All that we have achieved in 2021 would not have been possible without our fantastic partners like The Division of Small Business, the Office of State Planning Coordination, University of Delaware, and many more. We look forward to continuing our efforts in 2022.”

Applications for 2022 Large Projects closed on Friday, January 28, 2022. Applications for 2022 Small Projects are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information on DDD, please visit the DSHA website. To read the full annual report, visit the DDD webpage.

About 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 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 DSHA, please call (302) 739-4263 or visit destatehousing.com