Governor Carney Announces Delaware Has Housed More Than 500 Homeless Veterans

Delaware joined the national effort to house homeless veterans in 2015

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Thursday that Delaware has now housed more than 500 formerly homeless veterans since joining the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015.

“Our veterans served because of a heartfelt duty to country. We owe them a similar sacred duty, and Delaware has stepped up and achieved something truly remarkable,” said Governor Carney. “Good, safe, stable housing is vital to so much in our lives, and the work of our partners and supporters helping finding homes for more veterans has made a real difference.”

Governor Carney announces Delaware has housed more than 500 homeless veterans.

In 2015, Delaware joined the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, committing the state, leaders of all three counties, and the mayors of eight towns and cities to the initiative. So far, it is one of three states and 47 counties or cities to have achieved an effective end to veteran homelessness. The Delaware State Housing Authority has led those efforts through a statewide working group to coordinate resources on behalf of veterans.

The milestone announced on Thursday demonstrates that the state’s commitment to veterans remains strong even after Delaware effectively ended veteran homelessness last fall. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certified in October that Delaware has a sustainable and systematic response in place to ensure that homelessness among veterans is prevented whenever possible.

“This was a true partnership and involved real teamwork to help ensure that we care for all our veterans,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “We understand that while the work will continue, today’s milestone is a huge accomplishment in that mission and toward that goal.”

Through those efforts, the state developed a process to share data; increased targeting of resources to homeless veterans with the greatest need; and improved connections between resource providers. DSHA and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services also set aside state-funded rental assistance vouchers for homeless veterans who did not qualify for federal assistance.

Partners in Delaware’s statewide initiative to end veteran homelessness included local and county governments; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs; the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; Housing Alliance Delaware; Delaware Continuum of Care; and Supportive Services for Veterans Families providers, including Connections Community Support Programs and the Veterans Multi-Service Center.

Governor Carney speaks with U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gregory Larry of Wilmington, who moved into an apartment at the Summit at Middleboro Crest in February after experiencing homelessness, working through the VA and Connections CSP.
Governor Carney speaks with U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gregory Larry of Wilmington, who moved into an apartment at the Summit at Middleboro Crest in February after experiencing homelessness, working through the VA and Connections CSP.

About 300 of the housed veterans were in New Castle County, with about 100 in Kent and Sussex counties each.

“It means a whole lot. Words can’t express it,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gregory Larry of Wilmington, who moved into an apartment at the Summit at Middleboro Crest in February after experiencing homelessness, working through the VA and Connections CSP. “I was grateful that I had the chance to meet the people that I met, because it has really helped me a lot. Living in the streets isn’t a joke.”

“Every member of our community deserves a safe and affordable place to live,” said New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer. “Stable and permanent housing provides the foundation on which to build a better life, and I am proud of our private-sector landlords, non-profit partners, and public housing agencies who together found a way to meet this milestone.  By doing so, and especially by continuing this work, we honor the service and sacrifice of our neighbors who have given so much for us.”

“Delawareans have joined forces to transform words into deeds to help establish a brighter future for our veterans,” said Bill Farley, chairman of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs. “This milestone is a tremendous accomplishment, and highlights the many ways veterans’ lives are improved when they have stable and secure housing.”

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For photos from the announcement, click here.


Governor Carney Marks Milestone in Housing Delawareans in Need

State Rental Assistance Program has housed 1,200 clients on 5th anniversary of collaboration

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Governor John Carney celebrated Monday the fifth anniversary of the State Rental Assistance Program, which has provided housing for 1,200 Delawareans through a unique collaboration supporting those in special need of help. The anniversary event took place at the Herman S. Holloway Campus of the Department of Health and Social Services.

“We are providing a bridge to independence, helping more Delawareans live self-sufficient lives,” said Governor Carney. “SRAP is a great example of how government agencies can work together to more efficiently deliver important services, and effectively help Delawareans in need. Thank you also to members of the General Assembly for their continued support of the program.”

The State Rental Assistance Program, or SRAP, provides rental vouchers to low-income Delawareans who require affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community. Case managers help provide or coordinate those services and help residents through the rental process. SRAP helps particularly vulnerable populations – people exiting or at risk of admission to state long-term care institutions, youth aging out of foster care, and families for whom housing is a barrier to reunification, among others. All clients must be referred by an agency or partner.

Since 2011, more than 200 SRAP clients have successfully transitioned out of the program, either by handling rental payments on their own or by receiving housing assistance from another source. There are more than 720 families and individuals currently housed through SRAP.

SRAP client Zoraida Baez found the first apartment she has lived in that she can call her own through the program. “It’s such a relief,” said Baez, of Newark, who has also experienced homelessness. “I love it. I can come and go when I want. It’s my own place.”

SRAP is operated jointly by the Delaware State Housing Authority, which issues the vouchers; the Department of Health and Social Services, which refers clients in various programs; and the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, which refers former foster youth and reunification families. Funding comes from the state’s General Fund through DSHA, as well as through DHSS’ Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, totaling $5.3 million.

“This is about caring for the whole person – not just looking at one part of their needs at a time,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “We heard from advocates that the lack of affordable housing is a barrier to many low-income people and families with special needs to live and be successful, and we responded. This partnership shows that it is possible to serve people better, with a better quality of life, while reducing public costs.”

“The State Rental Assistance Program gives vulnerable populations the one thing we all want: The opportunity to have a place to call home,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. “For people leaving facilities or individuals with disabilities, these housing vouchers offer an affordable and safe way for them to live in the community. It’s not always easy to start anew, but the teamwork of SRAP makes the transition manageable, including clients to supportive services. The collaboration across state government provides a better quality of life for the vulnerable people we serve, saves the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and helps us build a healthier Delaware.”

“For young people leaving our foster care system, the challenges of transitioning to adulthood can be quite daunting. Sometimes their most basic needs, like a safe and affordable home, can seem unobtainable,” said DSCYF Secretary Josette Manning. “The SRAP program helps our youth secure a home so they can focus on meeting their other needs, such as education, employment and even basic health services. We are extremely grateful for this program because without it, it would be impossible for our foster children to thrive as adults.”

 

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Governor Carney: “When we revitalize and bring back neighborhoods like this and strengthen neighborhoods across our city, we’re strengthening our state”

Carney attends ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking for Phases I and II of Flats Redevelopment

Phase II of Flats Redevelopment in Wilmington
Governor Carney joins in the groundbreaking of Phase II of the Flats redevelopment.

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney today helped celebrate progress toward housing redevelopment in the Flats neighborhood in Wilmington. Phases I and II of the Flats project, being redeveloped by the Todmorden Foundation and the Woodlawn Trustees, were supported by $6.5 million from Delaware’s Housing Development Fund, overseen by the Delaware State Housing Authority.

“First and foremost, this is about a community on the West Side – a strong community in our city,” said Governor Carney. “It’s about the people who live there. It’s about workforce housing. But to put a housing project together like this takes a big team and a big partnership. It should go without saying that as goes the City of Wilmington, so goes the State of Delaware. And when we revitalize and bring back neighborhoods like this and strengthen neighborhoods across our city, we’re strengthening our state. I want to thank all of the people who made this project possible, and I want to congratulate and thank the people who will live in the Flats.”

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Delaware Homebuyer Fair set for April 22

Photos are available for media use on Flickr.

WILMINGTON — Families and others who want to learn more about buying a home can get a wealth of information at the free Delaware Homebuyer Fair later this month. The April 22 event at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, running from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers educational seminars on every aspect of home buying, as well as the chance to connect with service providers in the real estate, financing and home buying fields.

The event, now in its seventh year, typically draws between 350 and 400 people. Registration is strongly suggested to save a spot by visiting destatehousing.com.

“The Homebuyer Fair is a great opportunity to get lots of information all in one place. We make it as simple as possible for people to learn about buying a home,” said Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi. “Our goal is to help people become better prepared and feel comfortable with the process.”

Seminars will cover topics such as finding properties, obtaining low-cost financing, downpayment assistance, home inspections and maintenance, and budgeting. Attendees can earn credit toward HUD Homebuyer Education Certificate requirements.

The Homebuyer Fair is presented by the Delaware State Housing Authority in partnership with the Delaware Federation of Housing Counselors. Sponsors include Faith 1510, Hilltop Securities, GreenbergTraurig, 93.7 WSTW, WDEL 101.7, Xfinity, DrinkerBiddle, Ward & Taylor, Meridian Bank and George K. Baum & Company.

Attendees can register online at destatehousing.com or by contacting DSHA at 888-363-8808.

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Media contact:
Dan Shortridge
Director of Public Relations
Delaware State Housing Authority
302-739-0271
dans@destatehousing.com