NCSHA Recognizes State Rental Assistance Program with National Award

Contact:
Christina M. Hardin
Chief of Community Relations, DSHA
Phone: (302) 739-4263
Email: Christina@destatehousing.com

NCSHA Recognizes State Rental Assistance Program with National Award

November 4, 2013 (Dover, DE) – Delaware’s State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP)  received national attention last week when it was honored with an Award for Program Excellence during the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) 2013 Annual Conference & Showplace in New Orleans, LA. This year’s conference was attended by more than 900 affordable housing industry professionals.

The purpose of SRAP is to assist low-income individuals who require affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community.  SRAP provides rental assistance to particularly vulnerable populations – people exiting or at risk of admission to state long-term care institutions, youth exiting foster care, and families for whom housing is a barrier to reunification.  The program was officially launched in December, 2011 and has assisted nearly 300 individuals and families find and maintain housing in communities of their choice.

Governor Jack Markell stated, “It’s great to see Delaware’s efforts recognized nationally.  Our state agencies are clearly demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together to help more individuals live independently.  The rental assistance program is a shining example of an initiative that is giving more people a chance to live in a community and increase their quality of life.”

“We are honored that NCSHA chose SRAP as a Program of Excellence.  Our goal is to provide the foundation of a stable home where individuals have access to continuing home- and community-based services,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi.  “They are able to live independently with safe, long-term housing and the appropriate services necessary to succeed.”

Now in its 29th year, the NCSHA Annual Awards for Program Excellence was created to identify and elevate industry best practices as well as encourage continued Housing Finance Agency (HFA) innovation.

“These awards are presented annually to honor the best work of HFAs nationwide,” said Brian A. Hudson, NCSHA president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. “The NCSHA Annual Conference provides an outstanding platform to showcase award winners and entries in order to exchange best practices within the HFA community,” Hudson continued. “The ongoing ability to share information with each other enables all HFAs to be even more successful in achieving our common mission of providing affordable housing for those who need it.”

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 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: www.destatehousing.com.

NCSHA award 2013Delaware

Seated Left to Right:  Matthew Heckles, Anas Ben Addi, Gary Hecker
Standing Left to Right:  Christina Hardin, Patricia Conley, Susan Eliason, Cynthia Karnai, and Cynthia Deakyne

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New Incentive Announced to Help Delaware Place Top Educators in High-Need Classrooms

State Housing Authority and Department of Education partner to offer lower first mortgage interest rates to Delaware Talent Cooperative members

With some of the state’s top teachers set to gather tonight to discuss strategies to best address the needs of students in high-need schools, Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) is announcing a new initiative to help encourage top educators to work in these communities.

DSHA has partnered with the Department of Education (DOE) to offer reduced interest rates on mortgages for teachers in the Delaware Talent Cooperative, a group of high performing educators who have committed to work in schools with a significant proportion of disadvantaged students. Through part of the state’s top-ranked federal Race to the Top grant, DOE has been offering financial incentives for top teachers to participate in this effort. The DSHA incentive, which will be discussed at tonight’s Talent Cooperative kickoff event at Dover High School, is another important step to enhance the Talent Cooperative’s mission of fulfilling the administration’s priority to attract and retain top teachers for high need schools.

As a result of DSHA’s commitment, members of the Co-Op who qualify for a DSHA mortgage loan will receive a 0.5 percent reduction on a new loan, helping to make homeownership more affordable for the state’s highest-performing educators.

DOE recently announced 168 educators earned recognition and incentives as part of the Delaware Talent Cooperative’s second cohort.

“We know teacher quality is the number one school-related factor in our students’ classroom success and we want to make it possible for our top teachers to serve all of our students, so I’m pleased to see that the number of educators in the Delaware Talent Cooperative has grown,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Affordable housing is always a key component in recruitment and retention of talented individuals in any field. DSHA’s involvement with this initiative represents another important way we can show our commitment to encouraging the best teachers to live in Delaware and give our children the opportunities they deserve.”

DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi said, “DSHA is really proud that we have the internal operating capacity and resources available to make this interest rate reduction available to support the Governor’s and Department of Education’s initiative

“By offering this additional incentive, we are excited to help give our best educators the opportunity to buy homes, put down roots and stay here in Delaware to continue their careers,” he said.

This new incentive offers a one half of one percent (equal to 50 basis points) off DSHA’s current mortgage interest rate to members of the Delaware Talent Cooperative. The incentive can be used with any DSHA first mortgage program for first-time or repeat buyers. Individuals looking to take advantage of this reduced rate also may participate in DSHA’s down payment and closing cost assistance programs, with the interest rate reduction applying solely to the first mortgage. For an average buyer purchasing $200,000 home with a 30-year fixed interest mortgage, this lower rate can save more than $700 each year amounting to more than $21,000 over the life of loan.

“We are proud that through this partnership we can offer another incentive to keep these top educators working in some of our highest-need schools,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “Their talents and hard work are making a difference for children across our state, and we are grateful for this opportunity to support them.”

Homeownership is one of the cornerstones of the economy, of communities and of families. This new program will serve as an additional incentive for teachers to choose to teach and live in the First State.

At tonight’s second Annual Delaware Talent Cooperative Convening kickoff at Dover High School, members of the cohort will gather for roundtable conversations to discuss strategies for success and to answer questions about the initiative. Governor Markell and Secretary Murphy plan to address the educators.

The initiative recognizes some of Delaware’s highest-performing educators and ensures they will continue to work or move to work in some of the state’s highest-need schools for at least two years. It is based on research that shows financial incentives are effective at increasing the retention of high-performing educators in high-need schools, which in turn is important for raising school-wide student achievement. The Delaware Talent Cooperative complements the state’s Reward and Recognition school efforts, which provide school-wide financial awards (that also can be used for incentives) to top-performing schools.

In this second round of this initiative, DOE, in collaboration with participating schools and districts, identified top-performing principals, assistant principals and teachers in all subject areas whose students demonstrated achievement gains and invited them to make a two-year commitment to continue to work or move to work in the participating high-need school.

Cohort members of the Delaware Talent Cooperative interested using DSHA mortgage program can call (888) 363-8808 or visit www.DEStateHousing.com for more information.

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 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.


Governor Markell, U.S. Senator Coons and U.S. Senator Carper to Cut Ribbon at Delaware Affordable Apartment Community

Smyrna, DE – Green Street Housing, a Delmarva affordable housing developer, will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at Heron Run Apartments in Smyrna, Delaware on Monday, October 14, 2013. Heron Run Apartments underwent a complete renovation over the last 2 years, transforming outdated buildings that were in need of renovation into a modern, high-quality apartment community dedicated to providing quality affordable housing to qualifying tenants in need.

Governor Jack Markell is scheduled to attend and make remarks about the positive effects projects like Heron Run have had on the Delaware economy and the lives of Delawareans. Heron Run was completed in part with approximately $4 million in construction financing and $1.5 million in long-term financing from the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Housing Development Fund.

DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi said, “DSHA is proud to play a role in the renovation of Heron Run. Through the great work of our partners, the state’s investment of $1.5 million was able to leverage $6.3 million in additional public and private resources. We are especially pleased that the apartment community now offers more than three times the required number of fully accessible units for persons with disabilities.”

“Investing in housing not only preserves our affordable housing stock it also grows our economy and creates and sustains quality jobs,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Heron Run is a great example of how — by partnering together — we can have a greater impact on our communities. Thanks to the amazing renovation, energy efficiency upgrades and solar energy, the site will be sustainable for years to come.”

U.S. Senators Coons and Carper are also expected to attend. The project received an allocation of Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, which brought nearly $5 Million in private equity investment to the project. Coupled with a $1.4 Million loan from USDA, more than $6.4 million in federal resources were pumped into the Kent County economy over the last 2 years, the effects of State and Federal housing programs are easily felt by the local community.

The impact on the local community will be highlighted with remarks from the Mayor of Smyrna, Joanne Masten. The Town of Smyrna has been a major supporter of the project from its inception. “Much of Smyrna’s success as a thriving community is due to the valuable partnerships we have developed. We’ve been pleased to work with Green Street Housing to revitalize Heron Run Apartments and provide quality affordable housing for so many of our residents. Further, the project created much-needed jobs in our community. Over half of the construction workforce were Delaware residents – and that’s good news for our local economy!”, said Mayor Masten.

Heron Run also includes a solar component financed with energy tax credits.

The developer, Green Street Housing, has embarked on several similar project across Delaware over the last few years and is proud of Heron Run’s final product that provides high- quality, affordable housing to its residents and a community asset that the Town of Smyrna can be proud of for many years to come.

“In a time when there seems to be no good news coming out of Washington, the positive effects of State and Federally assisted projects like Heron Run can be seen and felt across Delaware and the Nation,” said David Layfield, Principal of Green Street Housing.

The event will be held at Heron Run Apartments, 363 E. Commerce Street, Smyrna, Delaware at 11:00AM on October 14, 2013. Refreshments and tours of the community will be provided.

About Heron Run Apartments
Heron Run Apartments is a 40-unit affordable apartment community. Originally built in the 80s, it was in need of repairs and lacked the amenities found in modern rental communities. The rental community underwent an extensive renovation in 2012 and 2013 that included the new construction of a multipurpose building, equipped with a meeting room, kitchen and business center. Site improvements included parking lot replacement, ADA accessibility, new exterior lighting, landscaping and playground. All resident have access to free WiFi across the community and in their homes. A 50kW ground mount solar array was installed which offsets nearly all of the common electricity consumed.

About Green Street Housing
Green Street Housing is a Delmarva-based affordable housing developer whose principals have many years of local development experience and $100s of millions in closed transactions on the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond. Green Street takes great pride in its green building practices which include Energy Star building practices and on-site solar energy production at all of its Delaware affordable apartment communities. Learn more at www.greenstreethousing.com.

If you would like more information about this release or to schedule an interview with David Layfield, please call 443-615-7120.


DSHA to Hold Small Business Contractor Forum

Contact:
Christina M. Hardin
Chief of Community Relations, DSHA
Phone: (302) 739-4263
Email: Christina@destatehousing.com

DSHA To Hold Small Business Contractor Forum

August 27, 2013 – (Dover, DE) – The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) will be holding a free Small Business Contractor Forum on Thursday, September 5, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Liberty Court Community Building, 1289 Walker Road in Dover.

Minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses are encouraged to attend to learn about DSHA’s programs and procurement opportunities. Michelle Morin from the State Supplier Diversity Office will be the guest speaker.
To register, please contact Arlene Fordham of DSHA at (888) 363-8808 or at arlenef@destatehousing.com before August 30, 2013.

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 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: www.destatehousing.com.

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“Keeping Your Home Afloat”: DSHA and Partners to Host Statewide Foreclosure Prevention Open House

“Keeping Your Home Afloat”: DSHA and Partners to Host Statewide Foreclosure Prevention Open House

 

July 15, 2013 – (Dover, DE) – The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), in partnership with five local housing counseling agencies, is hosting “Keeping Your Home Afloat”, a Statewide Foreclosure Prevention Open House, on Monday, July 22nd from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. Attendees will learn how the Making Home Affordable Program may be able to help them reduce the amount they owe on their mortgage. Homeowners who are “underwater”, or owe more than their homes are worth, are especially encouraged to come get more information about the MHA Program’s Principal Reduction Alternative.

 

“We are excited to be joining forces with our housing counseling partners to host this unique event,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “Homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages can visit any one of six office locations throughout the State of Delaware to speak with a certified housing counselor, and learn more about their options under the Making Home Affordable Program. Almost 20,000 homeowners in Delaware currently owe more than their homes are worth, and may not even be aware that MHA offers a Principal Reduction Alternative that could help them to lower the amount they owe on their mortgage.”

 

“Keeping Your Home Afloat” is part of the Making Home Affordable Outreach and Intake Project, a collaborative effort between DSHA and First State Community Action Agency, Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware, Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, NCALL Research, and the YWCA Center for Homeownership. Through this statewide network of service providers, homeowners seeking assistance with resolving or preventing a mortgage delinquency can find the resources they need while staying close to home.

 

“We thought it was incredibly important—for this event and the partnership’s ongoing efforts —to make sure that homeowners who need help can find it in multiple locations throughout the State,” said Karen Speakman, Deputy Director of NCALL Research. “We have been working diligently with DSHA to establish a statewide network of housing counseling and foreclosure prevention services that is accessible to all Delawareans.”
Homeowners interested in attending “Keeping Your Home Afloat” may visit one of the following locations:

New Castle County

Host: Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware
Community Services Building, Room 105
100 W. 10th Street
Wilmington, DE

Host:  YWCA Delaware, Inc.
153 E. Chestnut Hill Road, Suite 102
Robscott Building
Newark, DE                                                                                                                 

Kent County

Host: Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware
Dover Public Library
35 E. Loockerman Street
Dover, DE

Host:  NCALL Research, Inc.
363 Saulsbury Road
Dover, DE
                     
Sussex County

Host: First State Community Action Agency
308 N. Railroad Avenue
Georgetown, DE

Host:  NCALL Research, Inc.
110 S. Bedford Street
Georgetown, DE                              

Housing counselors certified in foreclosure prevention and mortgage default counseling will be on hand at each location to answer questions about the Making Home Affordable Program Principal Reduction Alternative, and other relief options, from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. Refreshments will be served throughout the evening.

 

For more information about the Open House, and other related events in Delaware, please visit www.DelawareHomeownerRelief.com or call 1-800-220-5424.

 

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 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: www.destatehousing.com.

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