Delaware's new home repair assistance initiative, the Statewide Emergency Repair Program, has received national recognition from the National Council of State Housing Agencies with a 2017 Annual Award for Program Excellence.

The award was given in the home improvement and rehabilitation subcategory, recognizing programs that best provide home improvement and rehabilitation financing.

The Statewide Emergency Response Program, or SERP, was created this year to provide a single point of contact for home repair assistance for low-income Delawareans. Previously, DSHA had funded repairs through a number of partners, depending on jurisdiction. The new program operates in all three counties and provides a streamlined approach through a contract with the Milford Housing Development Corporation, which operates the program.

Since its launch in March, SERP has helped around 85 families with about $338,000 in emergency home repairs.

The program addresses emergency conditions threatening the health or safety of eligible Delaware homeowners and members of their households. Qualified applicants must own their home and have lived there for at least one year, and must meet income guidelines.

Situations that qualify include immediate health or safety threats such as heating system repairs (winter months), plumbing repairs (non-functioning), electrical repairs (in hazardous cases), roof repair or replacement (for active leaks), major structural repairs or urgent accessibility modifications. A portion of the funding goes toward assisting residents of manufactured housing or mobile homes.

Homeowners can apply to the Milford Housing Development Corporation at 491-4010 or toll-free at 844-413-0038. Staff will work with applicants to determine if they qualify.

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