January 27, 2023 07:52 EST

Veterans are our only business.

General Support

DE Housing Authority

Reopening of the DEHAP Rental Assistance Program

The Delaware State Housing Authority announced the reopening of the DEHAP Rental Assistance Program, in addition to its new program guidelines. New applications and recertifications, which were unavailable during the pause, are now accessible through the DEHAP portal: www.decovidhousinghelp.com.

All applications submitted on or after Wednesday, October 12, 2022, will be reviewed for eligibility under the new program guidelines, which include:

  • Eligible households must be at 50% Area Median Income (AMI) or less AND provide documentation to verify their income
  • Households may receive a maximum rental assistance amount of $1,500 per month and a maximum utility assistance amount of $500 per month
  • Households may still receive up to 18 months of assistance for past due, current, and future rent, and up to 18 months of assistance for past due and current utilities

Households who submitted applications before the application portal paused on Sept. 9 will have until Oct. 14 to provide any missing documentation required to process their application. If missing documentation is not received by the deadline, the application will be closed out and the applicant will need to reapply under the new program guidelines.

About Delaware State Housing Authority

The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), formed in 1968, is dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. In addition to its role as the State’s Housing Finance Agency, DSHA is unique in that it serves as a Public Housing Authority and a Community Development and Planning Agency. As a Public Housing Authority, DSHA receives funding from HUD to build, own and operate public housing in Kent and Sussex counties, two of Delaware’s three counties. For more information about DSHA, please call (302) 739-4263 or visit destatehousing.com

Easterseals Respite Grant Funding Now Available

Respite Grant Funding is Now Available for Delaware Residents!

Take a Break Through Easterseals Respite Grants

While caregiving is rewarding, it requires an immense amount of time and energy and often leads to caregiver burnout. Respite helps to keep family caregivers physically and emotionally healthy by reducing the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and isolation.

Through Easterseals respite grants, caregivers can receive a voucher to be used to pay for the care of their loved one while they take a break. The best thing? The respite can be completely spontaneous and caregivers can hire a friend, neighbor, family member or even use the funding for a day program! Whether it is going to dinner, seeing a movie, reading a book, going to a family reunion or just wanting an hour or two of peace and quiet, our respite grants can help caregivers take a moment to recharge and be the best caregivers they can be.

See if you are eligible and/or apply »,

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 302-221-2087 or
resources@esdel.org and our staff would be happy to help.

Anya Taylor
Community Outreach Assistant
Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore
61 Corporate Circle
New Castle, DE 19720
O: 302-221-2087

Social Security Announces 8.7% Benefit Increase for 2023

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 8.7 percent in 2023, the Social Security Administration announced today. On average, Social Security benefits will increase by more than $140 per month starting in January.

The 8.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 65 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2023.  Increased payments to more than 7 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2022. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SS

I benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Medicare premiums are going down and Social Security benefits are going up in 2023, which will give seniors more peace of mind and breathing room. This year’s substantial Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is the first time in over a decade that Medicare premiums are not rising and shows that we can provide more support to older Americans who count on the benefits they have earned,” Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said.

View a COLA message from Acting Commissioner Kijakazi »

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $160,200 from $147,000.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. The fastest way to find out their new benefit amount is to access their personal my Social Security account to view the COLA notice online. It’s secure, easy, and people find out before the mail arrives. People can also opt to receive a text or email alert when there is a new message from Social Security–such as their COLA notice–waiting for them, rather than receiving a letter in the mail. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Information about Medicare changes for 2023 is available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, their new higher 2023 benefit amount will be available in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.ssa.gov/cola.

FactSht.COLA2023 8.7

Roofs from the Heart/ Energize of Delaware

ROOF AND RESILIENT HOMES GRANT

with ROOFS FROM THE HEART, ENERGIZE DELAWARE, AND THE EMPOWERMENT GRANT

The Roof and Resilient Homes Grant is focused on providing complete new roof installations plus energy efficiency measures funded by Energize Delaware for single-family dwellings owned by individuals in the state of Delaware.

See attached information card. APPLY AT ROOFSFROMTHEHEART.ORG

QUESTIONS? APPLICATION ASSISTANCE?

EMAIL INFO@EMPOWERGRANTDE.ORG

CALL 302-724-7033

RFTH Rack Card
Delaware Attorney General

Restitution for service members/veterans who were deceived and defrauded by Harris Jewelry

FROM THE DELAWARE DOJ:

PLEASE READ… the below-linked press release regarding a multi-state resolution against Harris Jewelry. Harris defrauded thousands of servicemembers and veterans affecting every U.S. State and Territory. This is a big win for our community, and we would like to get the word out to as many affected veterans and servicemembers as possible so that restitution can be provided appropriately.

The agreement requires Harris Jewelry to stop collecting $21,307,229 in outstanding debt that is held by 13,426 servicemembers and to provide $12,872,493 in refunds to 46,204 service members who paid for protection plans. Harris Jewelry is also required to vacate judgments against 112 consumers totaling $115,335.64 and delete any negative credit entries reported to consumer reporting agencies. Service members and veterans who entered into a predatory financing loan with Harris Jewelry between January 2014 and July 2022 will be eligible for restitution to the extent they paid for warranties, however, they will have to claim their restitution.

*Harris Jewelry, which is now closed, is not affiliated with the local Delaware retail business Harris Jewelers.

https://news.delaware.gov/2022/07/20/ag-jennings-announces-34-2-million-national-settlement-with-harris-jewelry/

FOR QUESTIONS:

Diana M. Anderson, Paralegal II
Fraud & Consumer Protection Division
State of Delaware Department of Justice
820 N. French Street, 5th Floor
Wilmington, Delaware 19801
Direct Line: (302) 683-8862
Fax: 302-577-6499
Email: diana.anderson@delaware.gov

Food Bank of Delaware

Food Bank of DE: Drive-thru mobile pantries for September

A MESSAGE FROM THE FOOD BANK OF DELAWARE

We started our large monthly drive-thru food pantries at the start of the pandemic to help meet the urgent food needs of thousands of people in our community. We will continue hosting these monthly distributions through December 2022 and will move to large quarterly distributions in 2023. Have no fear, though! The Food Bank of Delaware is out in the community every day helping to serve our community. There are many ways to continue getting the help you need without having to use fuel to travel to the distribution or coming at a time that may not be convenient for you.

Just a few ways we can help you close to home on a regular basis:

  • Have food delivered directly to your home through our Home Delivery Program
  • Visit one of our small community mobile pantries
  • Visit one of our Food Bank partner pantries or our on-site Healthy Pantry Center in Newark or Milford

DETAILS ABOUT OUR SEPTEMBER DISTRIBUTIONS

Sussex County

When: Monday, Sepember 12 starting at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Crossroad Community Church, 20684 State Forest Road, Georgetown
Register in advance »

Kent County

When: Wednesday, September 14 starting at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Dover Motor Speedway,1131 North Dupont Highway, Dover (enter through Leipsic Road entrance and follow signs)
Register in advance »

New Castle County

When: Friday, September 16 starting at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Delaware Tech, 400 Stanton Christiana Road, Newark
Register in advance » 

Please bring proof that you live in Delaware!

On-site registration will also be available. Service will be first-come, first-served. Assistance is limited to one per household. The Food Bank of Delaware is prepared to serve up to 1,000 households at each pantry. Public restrooms will not be available. Please make sure your trunk or backseat is clear for easy loading.

If you are not able to attend the distribution, please visit  www.fbd.org/get-help

Sept12SussexEng
Sept14KentEng
Sept16NCCoEngl

Wilmington VA Medical Center Update

Wilmington VA Medical Center Opens Food Pantry for Veterans

The Wilmington VA Medical Center (WVAMC) food pantry opened to Veterans on June 6, 2022. The idea came from a need to serve the Veteran population in Delaware and southern New Jersey who are food insecure or in need for food resources. An interdisciplinary team of dietitians, social workers and members of the center for development and civic engagement (CDCE), came together to plan the logistics of the food pantry and ways to disperse the food to those who need it the most

To receive items from the food pantry, Veterans must be enrolled in VA health care and identified by their social work team or dietitians. These donations are in the form of reusable bags that come with 3-4 days’ worth of nonperishable food based on dietary restrictions or need.

“Dietitians work with the Veterans and take into consideration nutrition needs during the intake process, said Trudy Jumper, clinical nutrition manager “Depending on how the Veterans are referred to the food pantry, dietitians check to see if the Veteran has been connected to social work [or vice versa] and getting all their resources that they need. The end goal is to get the Veteran connected with resources and sustained nutrition, so they don’t need to use the panty anymore.”

Veterans are identified through social work or nutrition and food services can either pick up the bags at WVAMC or the pantry items can be delivered to the closest community-based outpatient clinic. “If necessary, some bags are delivered via social workers directly to where the Veteran calls home. The WVAMC Team is working to meet the Veterans in the community and utilize best resources,” said Jumper.

Each bag contains a flyer that lists all the national services available to Veterans with food insecurity and scheduling information if they need any assistance with the pantry. Resources are also provided for local WVAMC nutrition counseling, MOVE Programs, access to healthy recipes, cookbooks, and other information to promote access to healthy food and educational videos.

The food pantry is for local Veterans of Delaware and southern New Jersey. Last month the WVAMC team delivered 16 bags and according to recent records, additional Veterans have already benefited from the program and growth continues to be projected. The nutrition and food service team are working with the CDCE (formerly Voluntary Service) as a collaborative effort to keep the food pantry well-stocked, but it is running solely on donations. Sustainment of this program is relying on communities, organizations and donations. “We truly appreciate everything that has been donated thus far, seeing the community coming together truly demonstrates support of Veterans in our area,” said Jumper.

The CDCE has worked with Veteran Service Organizations like the Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, American Legion and VFW Auxiliary, to name a few, during the initial kick-off of the food pantry. One concern is sustainability to maintain stocked shelves. “We are supported through donations from the public, Veteran Service Organizations and other various community partners,” said James Coty, Chief of CDCE.

“The best way to donate is to utilize our Amazon wish list, but we also accept monetary donations. Monetary donations can be mailed to WVAMC Attn: CDCE #135, 1601 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19805 with a note in the memo section to designate ‘Food Pantry’ this way 100% of donations are used to purchase items for the program.

We want this to be a long-term service that remains available to our Veterans in need.”

The food pantry has been well received by Veterans in need. “We anticipate an uptick in Veterans using this service with inflation costs rising, some Veterans do not meet the criteria to get the assistance they need and are struggling to get their groceries because they have bills and financial concerns. “We are seeing a lot of people who might not have needed the assistance before. It seems the food pantry was established at a perfect time and our team is eager to help Veterans in need,” said Jumper.

It is very important that the Veteran needs to be enrolled in VA health care and referred by their social worker or dietitian. If you know of a Veteran in need, please call 302-994-2511 x5444. To donate or for food pantry item donation drop off, call 302-994-2511 x 4061.

Amazon Food Pantry Wishlist »

More Information

Wilmington VA Medical Center provides health care services to approximately 35,000 Veterans through its main medical center and five CBOCs in Delaware and southern New Jersey. For more information, please visit Veterans Affairs »

Dover CBOC Regional Office Appointments

Great news…

There will now be a Wilmington Regional VA Rep available at the Dover CBOC that can assist you every first and third Tuesday.
A rep will be available on a walk-in basis twice a month.

See flyer for full details!

Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday
0900-1400 hours
Dover VA CBOC
(655 S Bay Rd, Dover)

22 VA FLYER 0713 FINAL2

Delaware 2-1-1

In times of need, it can be hard to know where to turn for help.

Delaware 2-1-1 is here for you. With one call, you can talk to a trained information and referral specialist who will listen to your concerns and guide you to local agencies and services that can help.

See flyer.

Dial 2-1-1
Visit Delaware211.org
Email Info@Delaware211.org

Governor Carney Announces American Rescue Plan Act Housing Initiatives

Approximately $50 million in funding for affordable housing and housing development initiatives to strengthen communities throughout Delaware.

DSHA will use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to develop a multitiered approach to address the affordable housing crisis across the state. DSHA will create the following programs as part of this initiative, and will administer the programs through 2026:

  • Catalyst Fund (Expected launch: Summer 2022) ? Creating and preserving affordable homeownership opportunities through the acquisition and rehabilitation of vacant homes in Delaware?s neighborhoods. These funds will be administered in partnership with Cinnaire, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that offers lending options for community development construction.
  • Cinnaire will offer construction lending by leveraging ARPA funds to incentivize for-profit and nonprofit developers to purchase, renovate, or replace vacant and blighted properties. The for-profit or nonprofit developer will receive ARPA funding as part of their construction project financing so that the cost of the new or rehabilitated home remains affordable to low-income residents.
  • Market Pressure Relief Fund (Expected launch: Summer 2022) ? Relieving economic cost pressures on Delaware?s affordable housing
    development community. This will provide additional financing to owners of affordable multifamily rental projects currently under construction that have faced construction cost increases due to supply chain disruptions and inflation to ensure these projects are completed.
  • Accelerator Fund (Expected launch: Fall 2022) ? Leveraging once-in-a generation funding available to unlock Delaware?s development potential. The Accelerator Fund will provide an incentive to market-rate rental developers with planned construction projects to provide affordable rental units in their new or renovated properties. The developer will receive an upfront payment from DSHA, funded by ARPA, which will offset construction costs. As part of the funding agreement, the developer will commit to an affordable monthly rent for a specified number of units in a project that would otherwise be exclusively market-rate. This new program will also provide additional funds for traditional affordable rental developers that qualify for the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
  • Preservation Fund (Expected launch: Spring 2023) ? Ensuring enduring affordability in Delaware?s existing affordable housing stock. These funds will offer financial incentives to ensure nearly 1,000 existing affordable rental units eligible to convert to market rate instead remain in the affordable rental inventory.DSHA and its partners will host public meetings to gather feedback from the community and stakeholders before launching these new programs.

The first meeting will focus on the Catalyst Fund and will take place the week of July 25. The purpose of the meetings is to ensure that the programs are designed to best meet the goal of increasing the availability of affordable housing in Delaware.

More information, including upcoming meeting dates and program details, will be posted on destatehousing.com »

DSHA announced last week the launch of the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program, which can provide up to $40,000 in financial assistance to eligible households who experienced a COVID-19-related financial hardship that resulted in mortgage delinquency or forbearance. This program is supported by the federal Homeowners Assistance Fund, which was created under ARPA and distributed to states to provide relief for homeowners. Delaware received $50 million. Homeowners can apply for the program at demortgagehelp.com

“DSHA is committed to stewarding these funds efficiently and transparently. With these historic investments, our state is firmly positioned to meet the critical needs of Delawareans across the state.” – DSHA Director Eugene Young, Jr.

“We are using ARPA funds to make sure these affordable housing construction projects get through the finish line, support more Delawareans in becoming homeowners, and revitalize communities that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Governor John Carney

“Access to affordable housing is vital to a person?s health and well-being. This ARPA investment will expand access to affordable housing options in communities that need it most, and make Delaware a stronger, healthier, more equitable state.?”– Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long

“The lack of housing options for working Delawareans has pushed homeowners and renters to pay more than their fair share to find a decent place to live, and Governor Carney?s embrace of this federal money will create much needed housing all across our state that stays within the budgets of working Delawareans.” – U.S. Senator Chris Coons

“When Senator Coons, Congresswoman Blunt Rochester and I were crafting the American Rescue Plan, this is just the kind of program we had in mind to help folks in need and strengthen our communities across the state.” – U.S. Senator Tom Carper

“We know that one of the most pressing needs in our state throughout the pandemic and during our recovery is the need for affordable housing. I commend Governor Carney and the State for deploying these resources as part of our mission to ensure that every Delawarean has access to safe and affordable housing.” – U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester

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If you agree with our mission of addressing issues that affect all of Delaware's veterans, please consider making a donation to our non-profit organization, Delaware Veterans Coalition. Any amount will be appreciated.