Delaware Division of the Arts invests $2.95 million in the arts sector for Fiscal Year 2016

DDOA weblogoThe Delaware Division of the Arts announces the awarding of $2.95 million in grants for Fiscal Year 2016, to support 112 arts initiatives throughout the state. Twenty-three communities across Delaware, from Claymont to Selbyville, will receive grants to support arts programming and services, arts education, and related arts marketing and promotion.

“The investment we make in the arts is multiplied through local matching,” said Governor Jack Markell. “In addition, art contributes to a quality of life that attracts businesses, strengthens education, and positively impacts our state’s economy.”

Division grants support a variety of projects and programs, from storytelling for preschool reading readiness, to community-based participatory arts, to professional exhibitions and performances featuring local, national and international artists. These grants support arts programming offered by both arts and community organizations based in large and small communities across Delaware.

“Delaware’s arts sector continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to engaging communities throughout the state,” reported Division Director Paul Weagraff. “Panelists from across the state deliberated thoroughly and thoughtfully to assist in reviewing and ranking applicants in all grant categories. This input from our constituents helps to ensure that we are supporting arts programming that is of high quality and serves all Delawareans.”

Funding for the Division of the Arts to support arts programming in Delaware comes from the Delaware General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

A complete listing of Fiscal Year 2016 grants can be found at:

DSHA Launches Two New Programs To Help Homebuyers

Dover, DE – Governor Jack Markell joined Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi today to announce two new homeownership programs that will help make homeownership more affordable. DSHA-Paid Mortgage Insurance (MI) will give buyers a lower monthly housing payment by removing the requirement that they purchase mortgage insurance if they do not have a 20% downpayment at the time of settlement. The Home Purchase Rehab program will allow buyers to purchase a home at a low interest rate and make repairs and/or energy improvements in one simple loan.                             DSC_0196

“The new DSHA-Paid Mortgage Insurance and Home Purchase Rehab programs will put the dream of homeownership within reach for more families in Delaware,” said Governor Markell. “When houses are purchased and get repaired, our neighborhoods and our economy benefit – people are put to work, materials are bought, and pride of ownership becomes more evident in our neighborhoods.”

“DSHA makes it a priority to search for new and creative ways to expand the number of programs available to homebuyers so that we can best meet their needs and offer products that will help them to be successful,” added DHSA Director Anas Ben Addi.

Generally, homebuyers who wish to purchase a home with less than a 20% downpayment are required to pay an additional monthly bill for mortgage insurance (MI). DSHA-Paid Mortgage Insurance will pay the required mortgage insurance cost on behalf of the homebuyer in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate.  Homebuyers using the DSHA-Paid MI program will have a more affordable monthly housing cost because they will not be required to pay the monthly mortgage insurance premium in addition to their regular monthly mortgage payment.  For example: If you purchase a home with a sales price of $186,000, this program will allow you to purchase the home with a down- payment as little as $5,580 and an estimated monthly payment of $914.00.  This is a savings of over $70 per month, as compared to DSHA’s standard conventional loan with the same downpayment.  This amounts to an annual savings of nearly $900 per year, or the equivalent of an average monthly mortgage payment.

The Home Purchase Rehab program allows homebuyers who wish to purchase a home which is in need of repair or upgrading to take advantage of having the cost to purchase the home and the cost of the repairs (up to $35,000) combined into one loan. Homebuyers may choose to do repairs as simple as painting, or replacing carpeting or appliances to as large as remodeling, accessibility modifications, a new roof, HVAC, or energy efficiency improvements.  Most homeowners who take advantage of this program have a significant amount of equity in the home once the renovations are complete.  In addition to financing the rehabilitation, DSHA increased the downpayment assistance available to up to $10,000.  This higher amount will help cover the cost of rehab inspections and other associated costs. To qualify for both programs, applicants must be income-eligible and not exceed a maximum loan amount of $417,000. Homebuyers can apply for DSHA mortgage programs through a participating lender.  DSHA offers qualified Delawareans reduced mortgage rates through its Homeownership Loan Program as well as closing cost and downpayment assistance. For more information on all of DSHA’s homeownership programs and a list of participating lenders 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: (888) 363-8808 or visit our website at:

Christina M. Hardin
Chief of Community Relations, DSHA
Phone: (888) 363-8808

Governor’s Weekly Message: Building on Our Efforts: 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

(Wilmington, DE) – In his weekly message, Governor Markell recognizes the 25th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act by sharing efforts both in Delaware and across the country to create a more inclusive society.


“Educational and government programs, building access, transportation and adaptive technology have all helped many individuals with disabilities achieve a far greater quality of life,” said Governor Markell. “Over the past twenty-five years, we have made great strides in fostering an environment that is welcoming and supportive of individuals with disabilities. By building on our efforts to create a more inclusive society we will keep Delaware and our country moving forward.”

Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:




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Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Building on Our Efforts: 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Governor Markell Orders Flags Lowered

DOVER – On Tuesday, President Obama ordered American flags at all U.S. government buildings and facilities be flown at half-staff until sunset on July 25, 2015, “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.” In concurrence with the President’s order and as an expression of Delaware’s sympathy for the people affected by the tragedy in Chattanooga, Governor Markell has ordered the American and Delaware flags at state buildings and facilities also be flown at half-staff until the end of the day on July 25, 2015.

Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Achieving Delaware Promise

In my State of the State address in January, I talked about the Delaware Promise. It boils down to
this: we strive to ensure every Delawarean receives the education and training to reach their
potential and compete successfully in our changing economy. The budget I signed this past week and
the initiatives established this year will bring us closer to fulfilling our promise. Our budget
invests in expanding individualized support for struggling students, better tracking our students’
progress, supporting coaching and mentorship for educators and school leaders, and growing our
successful efforts to increase access to college. We’re progressing toward improving our educator
compensation system to attract and retain more great teachers, while examining ways to change our
75-year-old school funding system to direct more resources where they are needed the most. After
decades of calls for change in Wilmington, we’re on a path toward giving the City community better
opportunities to engage in their children’s’ schools by redrawing district lines. And we’ve
launched programs that allow students to earn college credit and workplace experience in key
industries before they graduate. We’re also making strides toward giving Delawareans who are
struggling the most a better path toward reaching their potential. Our budget improves and expands
services available to combat those suffering from the addiction epidemic. As a result of a new law
and new state programs started this year, we’re better supporting youth with disabilities in
achieving successful careers and financial security.