What is affordable housing?

Generally, there are four types of affordable housing: Public Housing; Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8 Voucher); Site-Based Subsidized Housing; and Tax Credit sites.

Public Housing: These are apartment complexes owned and managed by a Housing Authority. The tenant pays a portion of the rent each month, and the federal government pays the remainder of the rent.

Housing Choice Voucher: Formerly called Section 8 vouchers, voucher holders locate their own rental unit (apartment, house, condo, townhouse, manufactured home). The voucher holder pays a portion of the rent each month, and the voucher pays the remaining portion.

Subsidized sites (site-based Section 8, USDA Rural Development, Rental Assistance) offer rents based on household income in accordance with federal regulations. The tenant pays a portion of the rent each month, and the federal government pays the remaining portion. The majority of these sites are privately owned and managed, although subsidized by the federal government. Unlike a Housing Choice Voucher, the tenant cannot take the subsidy with them when they move out of a site-based subsidized apartment.

Tax Credit sites, though not subsidized by the federal government, are considered affordable. They offer lower than market rate rents to families and individuals with modest incomes. The tenant is required to pay the full rent and utilities, and must have a minimum income to qualify (as opposed to subsidized housing, which has provisions for those with no regular income).

Rental Programs

Looking to rent? There are several options to choose from. Pick which one works for you and get started on finding your new home!

Kent & Sussex Counties - DSHA Public Housing

This program, offered in Kent and Sussex Counties, provides safe, decent affordable rental housing and access to supportive services for low-income families. A total of 518 units at ten Public Housing sites are owned and managed by the Delaware State Housing Authority. Note: Program participants, except the elderly or disabled, must also be enrolled in the Moving to Work (MTW) program. Learn more.

Click here to apply online to DSHA's waiting list or call (888) 363-8808 for an application.

You can also contact Dover Housing Authority. They maintain a separate Public Housing waiting list for housing in the City of Dover. Not in Kent or Sussex County? Contact one of the housing authorities in New Castle County.

Kent & Sussex Counties - DSHA Housing Choice Vouchers

This program, offered in Kent and Sussex Counties, offers housing subsidies to eligible low-income individuals and families to rent existing, privately-owned dwelling units from participating landlords. The Delaware State Housing Authority administers 902 vouchers. Note: Program participants must also be enrolled in the Moving to Work (MTW) program. Learn more.

Click here to apply online to DSHA's waiting list or call (888) 363-8808 for an application.

You can also contact Dover Housing Authority. They maintain a separate Housing Choice Voucher waiting list for housing in the City of Dover. Not in Kent or Sussex County? Contact one of the housing authorities in New Castle County.

Kent and Sussex Counties - Other Subsidized and Affordable Housing Options

Low-income families, disabled persons and elderly persons whose incomes do not exceed 50% of median income (in some cases, 80%), are eligible to reside in site-based subsidized complexes. Normally, resident families pay 30% of their adjusted gross income to rent a unit at a site-based subsidized site. The federal government subsidizes the balance of the rent.

Tax credit sites offer lower than market rate rents to families and individuals with modest incomes. The tenant is required to pay the full rent and utilities, and must have a minimum income to qualify (as opposed to subsidized housing, which has provisions for those with no regular income).

Note: Specific income limits and payment standards are determined based on family size and county location of the unit. Please contact the sites directly for rates and availability.

Resources:

Looking for Public Housing or a Housing Choice Voucher in New Castle County? Contact one of the housing authorities in New Castle County.

Housing Options in New Castle County

Subsidized and Affordable Housing

Low-income families, disabled persons and elderly persons whose incomes do not exceed 50% of median income (in some cases, 80%), are eligible to reside in site-based subsidized complexes. Resident families pay 30% of their adjusted gross income to rent a unit at a site-based subsidized site. The federal government subsidizes the balance of the rent.

Tax credit sites offer lower than market rate rents to families and individuals with modest incomes. The tenant is required to pay the full rent and utilities, and must have a minimum income to qualify (as opposed to subsidized housing, which does not require any income to qualify).

Note: Specific income limits and payment standards are determined based on family size and county location of the unit. Please contact the sites directly for rates and availability.

Resources:

Looking for Public Housing or a Housing Choice Voucher in New Castle County? Contact one of the housing authorities in New Castle County.

Emergency and Transitional Housing

Emergency and Transitional Housing provide shelter to individuals and families who are homeless. Emergency shelters provide immediate housing for up to 30 days, unless otherwise specified. Transitional housing provides temporary housing and support services over an extended period of time. Any person, or family, who is homeless and in need of assistance should call 211, or the Delaware Coordinated Assessment System at (302) 654-0126, x. 112 to be referred to appropriate services. All Delaware programs serving homeless families and most programs serving homeless individuals require a referral from the coordinated assessment system.

Homeless Veterans have additional options available through the Veterans Administration. If you have served in the Unites States Armed Forces and find yourself homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, please contact the following:

  • 24/7 Housing Help for Veterans (877) 424-3838 (National 24/7 Hotline, will connect to local services)
  • The Department of Veteran Affairs
    • New Castle County: (302) 994-2511 ext. 4697
    • Kent County: (302) 994-2511 ext. 2406
    • Sussex County: (302) 994-2511 ext. 2303
  • Connections (Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families, SSVF, Program)
    • New Castle County: (302) 250-5868
    • Kent County: (302) 734-0319 ext.14
    • Sussex County: (302) 332-0913
  • Veterans Multi-Service Center (Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families, SSVF, Program)
    • Statewide (302) 668-7331

Income Limits and Payment Standards

Income limits and payment standards are defined by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, and are determined based on family size and county location of the unit.

Landlord/Tenant Issues

Do you have a landlord or tenant issue? Contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at (800) 220-5424.