Delaware State Housing Authority Launches New Program For Veterans

Program Will Provide Veterans with Access to Mortgage Financing at Reduced Rates

May 2, 2012 – Delaware State SealThe Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) announced today the launch of its new “Loans for Heroes” program, an important product that will provide qualified U.S. veterans with mortgage financing through participating lenders.

Any qualified veteran who obtains financing will receive a reduction of one-half percentage point below the current mortgage rate through this new DSHA program. For example, a veteran purchasing a $200,000 home at the current mortgage rate of 3.0% could save up to $658.56/year through DSHA’s new program.

The rate reduction will be made available to eligible veterans through a special DSHA set-aside of $5 million. All first mortgage loan products available through DSHA are eligible for this rate reduction (e.g., VA, USDA, FHA, or conventional).

A qualified veteran who has been discharged from the military for any reason other than dishonorable may be eligible. Qualified veterans will need to document their discharge status with a Department of Defense (DD) Form 214. All borrowers will meet income and purchase price guidelines, and use a participating lender to access the lending product. For additional information on the program’s income and property qualifications, please visit DSHA’s website at www.DEStateHousing.com.

“We want to help our soldiers return to their civilian lives when they return from war,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Affordable homeownership offers veterans the chance to secure a good investment for their future. This program from the Delaware State Housing Authority, along with our current efforts to encourage employers to hire returning veterans, helps those who have served transition their lives from the battlefield to the home front.”

Major General Frank Vavala of the National Guard commented, “This is a unique initiative and our veterans will benefit greatly from it. Service members and their families make so many sacrifices. This is one way we can thank and support them.”

“This is an important program for DSHA as it provides qualified veterans with access to mortgage financing at historically low mortgage rates and our special program rate reduction,” said Anas Ben Addi, Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “This program is an extension of our existing financing programs and we decided to provide this rate reduction to veterans to thank them for their years of honorable service to our country. Whether they choose the first mortgage financing or also need downpayment and closing cost assistance, they can still take advantage of this reduced rate.”


Housing Authority Program Enables Individuals to Move from State-run Facilities to Rental Units

Nearly 100 people to Receive Rental Assistance Through New Program

DSHA - DHSS Sec. Landgraf and Governor MarkellDecember 19, 2011 – (DOVER, DE) – On Monday, December 19th, the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) hosted an event to celebrate the stories of five individuals who are moving from long-term care facilities and foster care to rental housing with the help of DSHA’s new State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP).

The objective of the SRAP program, which was launched in August 2011, is to assist low-income individuals who require affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community.

The event recognized several individuals who are successfully utilizing the SRAP:

  • Sandra Johnson and Alfredia Forrest —They are leaving Emily P. Bissell Hospital and are currently looking for new homes in or near the Wilmington area.
  • John Talone — He is leaving the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill and plans to move to the Claymont area.
  • Matt and Mindie Stevenson — 19-year-old twin brother and sister who are leaving foster care. They are moving in as roommates in New Castle.

“This is a wonderful story and a great example of how we’re helping individuals to move from State institutions back into communities or who are aging out of foster care — both vulnerable, special needs populations,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The State Rental Assistance Program is also a great illustration of how State government agencies can effectively work together to both serve our citizens and achieve cost savings for Delaware.”

Supported by Governor Markell, SRAP was made possible by $1.5 million in funding from the General Assembly and a memorandum of understanding with the Delaware

DSHA - Sandra Johnson and Alfredia ForrestDepartment of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). Within the first five months of the program, 129 applications have been received and 88 SRAP vouchers have been approved. 

“We’re extremely pleased to have worked directly with DHSS and DSCYF to make this program a reality and to help many individuals in need with rental assistance,” said Anas Ben Addi, Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority. “SRAP is the realization of a lot of groundwork laid by the nonprofits, advocates, legislators and many other partners who worked with us to help shape the program and assisted us with facilitating its implementation. Thanks to their efforts, we are able to offer this unique program today.”

Several studies conducted in the last five years have indicated that one of the most pressing housing issues facing the State of Delaware is homelessness of individuals who need long-term stable housing and comprehensive supportive services.

Along with Delaware’s Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and Reduce Long- Term Homelessness (2007) and the working group report Housing Delaware’s Extremely Low-Income Households (2009) – which identified a need of over 1,000 rental subsidies to adequately house this special needs population – the Homeless Planning Council conducts a Point in Time (PIT) study each year. The PIT conducted in January 2011 estimated there are nearly 6,600 homeless persons in Delaware this year.

The SRAP program will help to fill this need and also benefit the State of Delaware, who will no longer need to house individuals who are able to live independently in the community or are ready to leave foster care with appropriate supportive services.

“Because of the work of the SRAP team across our three agencies, vulnerable Delawareans will be provided affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf. “At DHSS, SRAP is helping individuals who are leaving long- term care at the state’s institutions and seniors who are being diverted from nursing home care so they can remain in the community. For these individuals, the rental assistance program is critical in helping them to achieve self-sufficiency and, ultimately, reintegration. And, finally, as state agencies, we are being fiscally responsible as we transition more individuals from high-cost institutional care to more affordable and sustainable community-based services and housing.”

DSHA estimates that it will cost between $8,000 and $10,000 per household per year to provide rental assistance with the SRAP program.

In contrast, it costs $270,000 per year for the State to house an individual at the Delaware Psychiatric Center, nursing home care costs $70,000 per person per year, and foster care costs the state $24,000 per year for the average 2-child family. Many of these families and individuals are often in the state’s care because they cannot find or afford safe and decent housing.

According to DSHA, SRAP will save the State of Delaware:

  • $63,100 per person for individuals in state-run nursing facilities;
  • $144,400 per person for individuals in the Delaware Psychiatric Center; and
  • $8,450 per family with children in foster care.

“Youth who age out of foster care face the obstacles of becoming an adult much as their peers do, but often without the support and resources of a family,” said Vivian Rapposelli, Secretary of the Delaware Children’s Department. “Programs like SRAP don’t just offer housing support; they provide hope for our young men and women. They give them peace of mind and allow them to begin the next phase of their life on a solid foundation.”

DSHA - Group Photo

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 responsible 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

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Governor’s Weekly Message: Habitat for Humanity – Building More Than Homes

Photos of the build available on Facebook and Flickr.

In his weekly message, Governor Jack Markell talks about a recent build for Habitat for Humanity at the Mill Stoneproject in Wilmington – the largest such project in Delaware to date.  Lt. Governor Matt Denn, members of the Governor’s Cabinet and senior staff joined him to volunteer.

“If you ever get a chance to lend a hand, or a hammer – do it,” said Governor Markell.  “Whether it’s the Mill Stone project or others, the time, talent and resources dedicated by these volunteers help renew local communities, one block at a time.   It also helps renew something in each volunteer – a sense of connection to our community.  And when you’re volunteering with friends or co-workers, it renews your sense of teamwork and purpose.”

The Governor commended the organization and the homeowners who invest time to earn their new home.  He also talked about the willingness to work together that is evidenced on Habitat sites across the state, as well as in our communities.

“Whether it’s for our schools, or small businesses; whether it’s competing to bring in a new employer or fighting for opportunity for our neighbors – you see that shared sense of effort and purpose,” said Markell.

Photos of the build available on Facebook and Flickr.

About the Governor’s Weekly Message:
At noon every Friday, a new video message is posted to the Governor’s website and YouTube channel and is distributed to Delaware media outlets.   Transcripts of the messages are posted and the audio version of the Governor’s message is available on iTunes as a podcast for distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.   The Governor’s weekly message is currently being carried on the air and posted on websites by various media outlets, and the direct link is: http://youtu.be/HIznFsENzV4.

Constituents, media outlets and others are free to link to the Governor’s video message on YouTube –http://www.youtube.com/user/GovernorMarkell – or on his Facebook page – www.facebook.com/governormarkell – or on the Delaware State website at http://governor.delaware.gov/information/podcast_video.shtml.  All are also invited to follow him on Twitter – www.twitter.com/governormarkell – and submit ideas throughhttp://ideas.delaware.gov.

Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message.