Delaware Housing Authority launches new program to help out renters affected by pandemic
The Delaware Housing Authority is sending $2.5 million to community organizations statewide to launch the DEHAP Community Navigation Program.
DEHAP is a rental assistance program available to Delawareans struggling to pay their rent and utilities due to financial hardship created by the pandemic. It can also cover fees incurred as a result of not being able to pay rent on time.
Since its launch, DEHAP has dispersed over $50 million in rent and utility assistance, and helped over 8,000 Delawareans.
But DHA hopes to expand its reach to make sure all Delawareans who can benefit from DEHAP apply for it.
Laurie Jacobs is a spokesperson for the Delaware Housing Authority. She says that’s where the DEHAP Community Navigation Program comes in.
“The purpose is to expand access to the program,” she said. “The DEHAP application requires internet, it requires gathering specific documents, and we believe these community navigators can help Delawareans do that.”
She adds that because the program is statewide, there are areas where broadband or computer access may be an issue for applicants.
The 15 community organizations across the state that are participating in this program are trained to help Delawareans through the DEHAP application process, and will provide applicants with the necessary tools they need to get their applications in.
Jacobs says that this program is reflective of the DHA’s values.
“It is our agency’s mission to provide affordable housing to Delawareans. We are very passionate about finding really innovative ways to do that as well,” explained Jacobs. “So Delaware was one of the first states to set up their rental assistance program during the pandemic, and I think that really speaks to the leadership's value of really trying to be responsive and get out there as soon as possible.”
The DEHAP Community Navigation Program is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, distributed by the U.S. Treasury Department to Delaware in December 2020 and March 2021.
DEHAP funds will be available until 2025, and the DHA encourages anyone eligible to apply.
To apply online or learn more about the DEHAP Community Navigators, visit https://decovidhousinghelp.com/ .