DSHA PROVIDES INCENTIVES TO CREATE MORE NEW AND ACCESSIBLE AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

August 19, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) is pleased to announce that 335 affordable housing units will be created and/or preserved thanks to awards being made through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The 2010 LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) included incentives for developers to construct fully accessible units, as well as a new category to encourage developers to build new units that will add 83 affordable apartments to the statewide inventory.

Governor Jack Markell stated, “Affordable housing helps families, builds communities and grows our economy. We are doing everything we can to make it possible for people, including those with special needs, to buy a home that meets their needs and matches their income.”

DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi added, “The need for affordable housing is growing. With these LIHTC units, more struggling families and persons with disabilities looking to live independently within their community will have a safe and decent home they can afford— reducing the financial burden they face in this tough economy.”

The new points category in the QAP provided incentives to developers to produce additional fully accessible units. Fully accessible units encompass design elements—such as cabinet height, hallway width, first floor bathroom and bedroom on the same level, in addition to numerous other specifications—that can provide accommodation for a person with a disability.

Currently, several federal and state regulations, such as, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 and Fair Housing Act require five percent (5%) of all units to be fully accessible, as well as all common areas such as offices, parking and playgrounds. Of the 355 units that have been preliminarily ranked in this year’s LIHTC funding round, 5.6% (20 units) are required for accessibility. However, with the new additional ADA/Fair Housing category, 46 units (12.96%) will be fully accessible, which is more than double the required units. The State Architectural Accessibility Board reviews all plans and DSHA will ensure accessibility compliance at the sites.

“The addition of 46 fully accessible units will have a great impact on our initiative to have people remain in, or return to, the community,” said Rita M. Landgraf, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. “One of the major challenges individuals face is the lack of affordable, accessible housing, and these 46 units will enable individuals to successfully transition back into the community or move into a setting that better meets the needs of individuals with disabilities. We applaud DSHA for recognizing the need and doubling the amount of accessible units beyond the federal requirement.”

Daniese McMullin-Powell, Chair of Delaware’s State Council for Persons with Disabilities stated, “This is good news that the new QAP includes LIHTC tax credits that makes an incentive to build more housing units accessible to people with disabilities. The lack of affordable, accessible, integrated, housing has always been the biggest barrier to having choice in where a person with a disability lives. Now, the quest to end the institutional bias will be a little easier as people have more accessible housing units available to move into when they move out of an institution.”

The preliminary ranking includes thirty-five newly created units to be located at Hampton Circle, an elderly subsidized site in Seaford, as well as 48 new units at Bayard Plaza, in Dover. Bayard Plaza will be located on the site of the old Bayard Hotel. Plans call for a mixed-use building with commercial space on the first floor while additional floors will be a mix of efficiencies, one- and two-bedroom units. More info

For more information on affordable housing in Delaware, call DSHA at (888) 363-8808 or visit www.DeStateHousing.com.

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CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Christina Hardin, Chief, Community Relations
Delaware State Housing Authority
18 The Green, Dover, DE 19901
(302) 739-4263
(302) 739-3178 (Fax)
christina (at) destatehousing (dot) com

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