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Delaware officials celebrate Moving to Work program anniversary

Sarah Mueller
DSHA Secretary Anas Ben Addi speaking about Moving to Work program

First State officials gathered in Dover to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a public housing program.

Local and state officials, as well as members of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation recognized the Moving to Work program, which started in 1999.

Program participants gain self-sufficiency by working a certain number of hours each year. They pay 35 percent of their monthly adjusted income in rent and can put more into a savings account. After five years, residents can use the savings to move into market-rate apartments or buy homes.

Delaware State Housing Authority Secretary Anas Ben Addi said nearly 1,000 residents have successfully completed the program since 1999.

“So, they have higher income, they have savings," he said. "They either have a stable job or a good degree, and they are going to a rent on their own without subsidy. And about a third of them are buying homes.”

In the past 20 years, 698 families have moved into market rate apartments and 297 have purchased homes.

Shantel Emory successfully completed the program in 2018 and saved nearly $8,000 to buy a home.

“I’m grateful for the Moving to Work program," she said. "As a participant in the program, I was able to gain full-time employment and go back to school. I saved money for my first down payment on my very first home.”

The Delaware State Housing Authority financed a recent $18 million rehabilitation of public housing complex Liberty Court in Dover - the site of Friday’s celebration.

Elderly and disabled residents are exempt from Moving to Work requirements. Liberty Court resident Charles Fisher, who is disabled, said the renovation has improved his quality of life.

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