November 19, 2013
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Delaware State Housing Authority

 
Three former shelter residents today have a home to call their own thanks to the efforts of the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) and Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing (DIMH) which together celebrated the milestone of the 500th home assisted through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) by opening DIMH’s first permanent supportive housing residence in Dover.  This previously foreclosed and vacant home will provide stable housing for employed, income-qualified residents formerly housed at DIMH’s shelter.

The property was purchased through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).   NSP provides grants to every state and certain local communities to purchase foreclosed or abandoned homes and to rehabilitate, resell, or redevelop these homes in order to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of house values of neighboring homes.

Delaware’s Neighborhood StabilizationProgram allocation of more than $36M has been used to assist 500 homes for families and individuals. 

Governor Jack Markell stated, “Supporting the recovery of neighborhoods and communities remains an important priority for my administration.  The completion of the Ross Street home shows what partnerships can achieve in stabilizing neighborhoods and providing Delawareans with secure, affordable places to live.”

“DSHA has supported Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing’s efforts since the beginning.  We’ve watched them grow from a group of ministries providing refuge from the cold in their churches, to operating a much-needed year-round shelter.  We are pleased to partner with them as they take this momentous step forward in establishing permanent housing for their residents,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “The investment in NSP also has an important ripple effect in that a good portion of the funds are recycled as program income to offer additional affordable housing opportunities.”

The State of Delaware is approaching the five-year anniversary for administering the NSP program. In that time, NSP has garnered successful statewide partnerships throughout the housing spectrum – including local governments, nonprofits, housing counseling agencies, realtors, lending institutions, for-profit developers, and homebuyers. NSP has become a viable national program with the ability to directly combat the foreclosure crisis of America, which is evidenced by this celebration of reaching the goal of 500 homes here in Delaware.

Jeanine Kleimo, Chair of the DIMH Board of Directors commented, “The Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing helps homeless men to have faith in their future.  Our residents are excited about the Ross Street house as an example of what their efforts can produce, and they are happy for those who will live there.  This has been an inspiring project for all of us, as it helps us to show the best of "our men" and what they can achieve for themselves and for one another.  We all appreciate this opportunity to work with DSHA to produce something of such immediate and lasting benefit for the men we work with every day.”

Donald Smith, a new resident of the Ross Street home, added, "I am excited and happy and thankful to Dover Interfaith Mission and to the Delaware State Housing Authority.  I feel that this is a big step in my life.  I will try to give back by being a good resident."  Mr. Smith struggled with homelessness and has been awaiting the opportunity to move into affordable housing.  He is giving back to the community by working at another local shelter in Dover.

Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing applied for NSP funds to purchase and maintain permanent supportive housing, focusing on a special needs populations category that targets households earning less than 30% of the area median income and the homeless. Tenants residing in the home will be former and/or current DIMH shelter residents who earn stable incomes and are working toward independence.  Selected applicants will include men who were successful, or are currently doing well, in the shelter and would make good tenants. These men are goal-oriented, responsible individuals unable to secure affordable local housing.  The home will be operated as a private rental unit with residents maintaining portions of the property which includes ongoing oversight and continued services, if needed, from DIMH staff.