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Advocacy groups merge to tackle homelessness, lack of affordable housing

Sarah Mueller
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long

Two advocacy groups focused on homelessness launched a new organization Friday. The Homeless Planning Council and the Delaware Housing Coalition merged into Housing Alliance Delaware.

But their mission remains the same: eliminate homelessness and help Delawareans find permanent housing.

A new report on the First State’s housing situation finds Delaware lacks affordable housing options for residents. But it also sees progress in eliminating homelessness among veterans.

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long  (D) said getting people off the streets and into stable housing helps all communities in Delaware.

“If you don’t have a place to take your medicines, to have a refrigerator, to have a place that you can have that inner space and you’re on the street, it affects our economy, it affects our ability, it affects us at every aspect of our community and our country,” she said.

Hall-Long said she believes every Delaware resident deserves a permanent home.

“And it is a right and everyone needs that respect and that dignity to have a home," she said. "And the Housing Alliance will be working with persons whether they’re homeless, to those who are in poverty, to our seniors, to persons with disabilities, and to something very passionate I know to the governor and to my Lt. Governor’s office, persons with mental health and behavioral health issues.”

Delawareans also saw an increase in wages needed to afford a two bedroom rental. The state moved from the 12th most expensive renter state to the 15th in the past year.

Volunteers counted 1,015 homeless people in Delaware as of January 25th. It’s estimated more than double that number will experience homelessness at some point this year.

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