Nineteen months since COVID-19 first appeared in Delaware, individuals and families (as well as businesses) still struggle to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. The Delaware State Housing Authority has relaunched the Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DEHAP) twice since it was created early in 2020. The DEHAP website explains,
“DEHAP can now assist with rental arrears from April 2020 – on and up to three months of prospective (forward) rent up to a total maximum of 15 months and $2,000/month. Utilities that are due to the landlord, late fees (for August 2021 – on; late fees previously were prohibited by the State of Emergency) and court fees can be covered by DEHAP. These are included within the $2,000/month maximum. DEHAP can also assist with security deposits and first month’s rent for households moving into a rental unit.
Eligible renters can also apply for help with utilities (electricity, gas, water and wastewater/sewer). This can include arrears and current bills due, up to $1,500/month.”
At LCS, we continue to assist clients as they apply and navigate the system. Ms. Jean Washington shared a couple of recent stories of how we have been able to help. (We changed their names for this story.)
Cathy lost her job and income due to COVID-19 and needed help with rent and utilities. She completed her paperwork via email. That included a letter from her landlord stating that she was late with her rent as well as a past-due notice from Delmarva for her utilities. LCS helped Cathy with utilities and two months of past due rent. In addition, she qualified for three months of future rent. Cathy has applied for disability and hopes to be able to catch up. Sometimes getting to that point is enough to keep you moving forward.
COVID-19 also left Jessie and Anna no longer employed, with four children home. Once their income ran out, they fell behind with rent. They came to LCS before they got too far behind and only needed help with rent. LCS aided them in the process, and we were able to secure them three months of rent plus three months of future rent. The process can take a few weeks or more, and we encourage others to follow Jessie and Anna’s example and reach out as soon as you find yourself struggling.
To learn more about applying for DEHAP through LCS, visit our website. There you can find out if you qualify and download our two page intake form to start the process. It also lists the documentation you need to supply. If you have already applied directly with DEHAP, we may not be able to help you without starting a new application. Unfortunately, DEHAP does not provide assistance to homeowners. We hope to connect with the state’s program for homeowners (DEMAP) as soon as it opens up again.
For information and the answers to frequently asked questions regarding DEHAP, click here to visit their website.
LCS has adapted to whatever changes come our way, and we will continue to do so. Together, we can work toward empowerment and greater security. Thank you for your support!
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