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DSHA receives national recognition for affordable rental housing program

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Delaware State Housing Authority was awarded the 2023 Program Excellence by the National Council of State Housing Agencies. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DSHA

DOVER – The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) has been awarded the 2023 Program Excellence by the National Council of State Agencies (NCSHA) for the Area of Opportunity Land Bank Program which supports affordable rental housing.

“This Award for Program Excellence from NCSHA demonstrates how DSHA was able to provide a creative solution to the need for affordable rental units in our state,” DSHA Director Eugene Young, Jr., said in a statement. “The Area of Opportunity Land Bank Program is an innovative and accommodating program that aligns with DSHA’s mission to efficiently provide and assist others in providing quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans.”

The DSHA’s Area of Opportunity Land Bank Program established a $5 million revolving fund for housing developers to build more affordable rental housing.

Introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Area of Opportunity Land Bank Program offers affordable housing developers an extended timeline to complete the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) process when working in areas classified as opportunities. This added time improves developers’ likelihood to build in such areas.

Since its establishment, a LIHTC developer has applied for the Area of Opportunity Land Bank Program to help with redevelopment processes. The program aided the company with LIHTC allocation, leading the developer to begin strategies for 80 new affordable rental housing units in Lewes, Delaware.

DSHA was one of over 30 housing finance agencies nationwide to submit entries in the 2023 awards program. NCSHA judges evaluate each entry for its level of innovation, replicability, response to a critical state housing need, and effective use of resources, among other criteria. The juror panels include former housing finance agency executive directors and staff, as well as other senior leaders in the affordable housing community.

For more information on the Area of Opportunity Land Bank Program, please visit: http://www.destatehousing.com/Developers/Developers.php.

To read the full Program of Excellence award entry, please visit: https://www.ncsha.org/awards-category/rental-housing/encouraging-new-construction-rental-housing/.

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