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State, New Castle County contribute $40M to relaunch of DE HAP

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The State of Delaware and New Castle County are contributing a combined $40 million in CARES Act funding to support the reopening of the Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DE HAP), which provides financial assistance for renters affected by COVID-19.

Gov. John Carney and Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Director Anas Ben Addi also announced Aug. 10 that emergency mortgage assistance is now available for homeowners who have missed payments due to the pandemic.

The $40 million in funding will be used to provide payments for qualified applications to both the rental and mortgage assistance programs.

“We know that many of our neighbors remain unemployed or underemployed and are struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” said Ben Addi. “Today’s announcement builds on our efforts to prevent evictions and foreclosures resulting from the pandemic and will allow DSHA and our partners the opportunity to better assist both renters and homeowners throughout the state with their housing needs.”

“No one should be thrown out on the street due to the inability to pay their rent or mortgage during a public health emergency,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “Since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, our county government has focused on protecting New Castle County’s most vulnerable residents. We have partnered with the state on these efforts throughout the pandemic, and I am thankful for the leadership Governor Carney and Director Ben Addi have shown by reopening the rental assistance program and the start of emergency mortgage assistance. I am proud that $20 million of our CARES Act funding will go to support these programs that will continue to enable so many families to have a place to call home.”

DE HAP provides financial assistance to renters affected by shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours, or unpaid leave due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Under the revised program guidelines, eligible households can now receive up to $5,000 in assistance, with payments made directly to the property owner. The program was first launched in March and temporarily paused in late April due to overwhelming response and to allow DSHA to review federal funding opportunities provided by the CARES Act.  To be eligible for DE HAP, applicants must reside in Delaware and have a maximum household income post-pandemic at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the county in which they reside. Income eligibility per county for DE HAP can be found on DSHA’s website. Applications must now be submitted by landlords or property owners on behalf of tenants through a newly created application portal on that website, which provides a step-by-step tutorial video and Frequently Asked Questions for landlords submitting applications to DE HAP.

On July 1, Governor Carney released a modified order lifting the moratorium on foreclosure and eviction filings in place since March but ordered that all evictions would continue to be stayed to permit the Justice of the Peace Courts to determine whether the parties would benefit from a court-supervised mediation or a newly created alternative dispute resolution program.

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