DSHA Expands Loan Program to Help Non First-Time Buyers

Now Repeat Buyers Can Take Advantage of Low Rates Too!

DSHA LogoJuly 25, 2012 – (DOVER, DE) – The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) today announced an important change to its homebuyer program that will allow qualified non first-time homebuyers to purchase a home in Delaware using a low, 30-year fixed-rate home loan.  Previously, DSHA’s homebuyer program was only offered to income-qualified, first-time homebuyers.  The new Home Again loan program allows qualified individuals who have previously owned a home to use DSHA’s range of mortgage products — including first mortgage financing, as well as down payment and closing cost assistance.  Now, whether a homebuyer is purchasing their first or next home, DSHA offers mortgage products that can make the American Dream of homeownership a reality in Delaware.

In years past, second or repeat homebuyers often had cash to purchase their next home with the proceeds generated from the sale of their home.  Today, that is not always the case.  Also, families looking to downsize to a home that better fits their family needs or finances may seek assistance with down payment and closing costs.  DSHA recognized this need in the housing market.  DSHA’s expanded eligibility to assist these repeat homebuyers is a welcome resource.

“This expansion in mortgage opportunities will help in moving Delaware’s housing market and economy forward,” Governor Jack Markell said. “We are committed to working together to provide Delaware residents with the tools that enable homeownership.”

“This is another important step DSHA has taken in our mission to provide all Delaware residents with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of homeownership,” said Anas Ben Addi, Director of DSHA. “We are continuously devising innovative ways to afford individuals access to quality homes throughout the First State.”

“DSHA’s first-time homebuyer programs have been a long standing success for Delaware.  The expansion of these programs to non first-time buyers is a tremendous opportunity for potential homebuyers.  I commend DSHA for their efforts to promote affordable housing,” commented Fred Fortunato, Vice President of Project Management at Benchmark Builders, Inc.

“Opening the DSHA program to non first-time homebuyers has given some people the ability to purchase again rather than renting.  The availability of the SMAL (Second Mortgage Assistance Loan for down payment and closing costs) will give buyers the opportunity to buy again if they did not receive the proceeds they were anticipating or if they are going through a life change with limited funds,” said Joan Fitzgerald, Mortgage Consultant with Trident Mortgage.

Home Again is a statewide program that helps potential homebuyers with financing at below-market rates. In order to qualify, a buyer’s income must not exceed $93,725 and the property which the buyer wishes to purchase cannot exceed $387,692, depending upon the area in which the property is located.

Along with Home Again, DSHA recently announced the Loans for Heroes mortgage product which offers reduced rates for qualified veterans.

For more information about this and other DSHA homebuyer programs visit: http://www.destatehousing.com/HomeOwnership

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: www.destatehousing.com

Week 4 Results for Checkpoint Strikeforce

Dover – Nine (9) people were arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs during the fourth weekend of the 2012 Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI prevention campaign.  This brings the total DUI arrests made as part of the campaign to 42.  Statewide, there have been over 2,600 DUI arrests made in Delaware this year.

In addition to the checkpoint DUI arrests, officers issued 4 citations for underage drinking, issued 3 cell phone citations, apprehended 3 wanted individuals, made 5 drug arrests, issued 6 seat belt citations, and issued 49 citations for various other traffic violations.

Three checkpoints are scheduled to take place the weekend of July 27th.   They are scheduled for:

Friday July 27th –    Bear- (DSP)- checkpoint

Seaford (multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint

Saturday July 28th –  Harrington- (multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint

Checkpoint Strikeforce is a regional sobriety checkpoint campaign aimed at arresting DUI offenders, and using high visibility enforcement to deter those who would otherwise choose to drink and drive.  The campaign, a six month long effort running through New Year’s Eve, involves setting up weekly DUI checkpoints statewide.

For more information on Checkpoint Strikeforce visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.DUIRealTime.com and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe and Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.

As watermelon harvest booms, pick up a slice on the Rehoboth Boardwalk

WatermelonPhoto available for media use on Flickr

There are few things better than a juicy, delicious slice of watermelon to cool you down during the summer.

And next week, Delaware residents and visitors along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk will be getting slices for free as part of an annual event from the Mar-Del Watermelon Association and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Mar-Del Watermelon Queen Terra Tatman and National Watermelon Queen Katelyn Kelley will be handing out some dripping-with-flavor slices near the Bandstand starting 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, along with information about the nutritious benefits of the delicious fruit.

The heat this season has proven a boon for watermelon growers, said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee.

“Watermelon is a Delaware pride and joy,” said Kee. “Our growers are nationally known for the quality and volume that they produce. This season looks to be another bumper crop for Delaware watermelon, and we welcome visitors and residents alike to try some of this delicious summertime treat.”

Delaware and Maryland are leaders in watermelon production. In August 2011, the two states accounted for 20 percent of national watermelon shipments; for all of 2011, Delaware and Maryland produced 172 million pounds of watermelon, valued at $22.4 million.

The Mar-Del Watermelon Association includes growers, brokers and corporate members from Delaware and from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Photo available for media use on Flickr


Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture

Former Delaware Man Indicted for 2007 Shooting Death

Former Delaware Man Indicted for 2007 Shooting Death
Life Insurance Scheme Alleged Motive for Killing


Wilmington – Attorney General Beau Biden announced today that his office has obtained an indictment charging former Delaware resident Jason Slaughter with the 2007 shooting death of Christopher Masters.


In the early morning hours of December 14, 2007, New Castle County Police responded to reports of a shooting at the Summit Bridge Trailer Park and found Masters, age 22, shot to death inside his home.  Slaughter, a friend of Masters who was found with a gunshot wound outside the home, reported to police that he was shot in a home invasion.  Although Slaughter’s story was inconsistent with the evidence there were no other leads and the investigation continued.


“Despite the time and distance covered by this case, the voices of the victims and their families will be heard thanks to the ongoing hard work and collaboration among prosecutors, investigators and police both here in Delaware and in Georgia,” said Biden.


In 2010, Georgia police contacted Delaware authorities after they had charged Slaughter and his wife with the May, 2010 shooting death of Michael Haegele in Mauk, GA.  During that investigation detectives found documentation that Slaughter was in possession of a $250,000 life insurance policy on Masters for which he was the named beneficiary.  Similarly, in the Georgia case, Slaughter was in possession of a $500,000 life insurance policy on Haegele for which he was the named beneficiary.  With this new information, New Castle County police continued the investigation, which led to this week’s indictment.


Slaughter, age 25, is charged with one count of First Degree Murder and One count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony in the death of Christopher Masters. He remains held without bail in Georgia while he awaits trial there for the 2010 murder.  The Attorney General’s Office will be taking steps to extradite Slaughter to Delaware upon the conclusion of the Georgia case.


The Delaware Department of Justice reminds the public that an indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.


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Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities

About nine years ago, I visited what was then MBNA, now Bank of America, at a facility in Newark. There, the company employed about 300 people with disabilities who were responsible for a variety of tasks including making promotional materials. I met a young man, about 25 years old, who was making t-shirts and I asked him what he did before he got that job.  He told me he sat at home for six years watching TV with his parents.

A light bulb went off in my head. This job not only offered him a paycheck, but significantly improved his quality of life. He had a greater purpose, the ability to be part of a team and to be part of something bigger than him. And for his family – this job meant he had some place to go, something meaningful to do and support outside his family network. In turn, their quality of life improved as well. His story and countless others that I have met over the years inspired our announcement last weekend that our Chairman’s initiative at the National Governors Association will be called: A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.

Advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities is the right thing to do as a society. It’s the smart thing for government to do.  And it makes good business sense.  The statistics are sobering. Iowa’s senior Senator Tom Harkin recently released a report that said: employment outcomes for persons with disabilities have not improved since 1990; that between 2008 and 2010, workers with disabilities left the workforce at five times the average rate; that the median income for these workers is less than 2/3 the median wages for other workers.

Making a difference in these numbers will not be easy, but the work is important. By this time next year, we will have created a blueprint for businesses and states that identifies best practices and outlines steps that can be put in place to increase economic opportunity and heighten awareness. It will provide governors and state policymakers with more policy options to assess the environment in their state and specific strategies designed to support this population.

It doesn’t matter whether someone was born with additional challenges to face or – in the case of our wounded veterans, for example – acquired them later in life. There are so many people with disabilities who have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful contributions to interested employers. What matters is what they have to offer and the tremendous impact this will have on their overall well-being and on the bottom line of the businesses that employ them.

I hope that you’ll join me in this effort to make an important difference in this area across the country and, in doing so, help keep our great state moving forward.