A bill that would allow tenants to stop paying rent when a landlord doesn't make critical repairs didn't make it out of committee Tuesday.

State resumes rent, utility assistance with new rules

Charlie Megginson Government, Headlines

Rent and utility assistance DEHAP delaware

The Delaware State Housing Authority will continue accepting applications for DEHAP rental and utility assistance. (Getty Images)

Just over a month after the Delaware State Housing Authority temporarily stopped accepting new applications for rental assistance, the program is back up and running, officials announced Wednesday.

The Delaware Housing Assistance Program, or DEHAP, offers financial assistance to qualifying tenants who are at high risk of eviction. 

The Housing Authority temporarily stopped accepting applications on Sept. 9 to modify program guidelines in accordance with U.S. Treasury requirements, implement a shift between federal funding sources and manage application volume.

Before the pause, the program offered up to $2,000 in rental assistance and up to $1,500 in utility assistance per month for up to 18 months.

Under the new guidelines, qualifying applicants can receive a maximum of $1,500 per month in rental assistance and $500 per month in utility assistance, still for 18 months.

The money can be used for past due, current and future rent and utilities.

Eligible households must be at 50% or less of the area median income and provide documentation to verify their income.

RELATED: Delaware’s affordable housing crisis affects middle class, too

Households that submitted applications before the application portal paused on Sept. 9 will have until Friday, 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.

To date, the DEHAP program has allocated more than $114 million in ERA funding to some 20,000 Delawareans.

In a press release, Delaware State Housing Authority Director Eugene Young thanked applicants for their patience during the one-month pause.

“The initial goal of DEHAP was to serve the people of this state, those at the margin and facing eviction,” Young said. “These changes will keep up the program’s momentum and help those most in need.”

For additional details on the DEHAP program, visit decovidhousinghelp.com or call (866) 935-0407.

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