Housing Assistance for Seniors in Delaware

Last Updated on April 20, 2024 by Rachel

According to the Census Bureau, the estimated population of Delaware, as of 2021, is approximately 989,948, with seniors above 50 years being 39.5% of the population. The median age increased by 5.90% from 2010 t0 2018. The life expectancy is currently 79, which is almost similar to the U.S. average of 78.5. The percentage of the elderly still in the labor force is 32.8% compared to the nation’s average of 40.80%. The median household income of senior-led homes is $52,177, ranking it at the 8th highest paying state in the U.S. The nation’s average stands at $43,735.


The housing cost of living index of Delaware is 116, which is higher than the national average. However, the price is dependent on the location one chooses to retire in. As of April 2023, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment per month in Delaware according to RentCafe is $1,282 and a two-bedroom apartment costs $1,594 monthly. The price varies depending on the city.

Housing Options

There are several senior living options in Delaware, including:


  • Independent Living Communities: These communities offer seniors an active and independent lifestyle with amenities such as fitness centers, social events, and on-site dining. The median cost per month of home health care in Delaware is $4,195. This allows seniors to live independently but get services like housekeeping and running their daily errands. Adult daycare per month is $1,571. Seniors are supervised during the day and can socialize with others while caregivers and family members are busy at work.
  • Assisted Living Facilities: These facilities provide seniors with assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and medication management while still allowing them to maintain a level of independence. Assisted living in Delaware’s average cost per month is $6,015.
  • Memory Care Facilities: Memory care centers were created to alleviate the pain and frustration associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss. The average annual expenditure is $95,700.
  • Nursing Homes: These facilities offer around-the-clock medical care and rehabilitation services for seniors who require more advanced medical care. For nursing homes, the cost is relatively high with a semi-private and private room costing an average of $10,646 and $10, 996 per month respectively.
  • Hospice Care Facilities: Hospice facilities are for seniors with terminal illnesses. It is beneficial to the family members as well since they will get counseling and learn how to take care of seniors struggling with illnesses. Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurances cover most if not all of the costs incurred during hospice care for seniors.
  • Respite Care: Respite care helps family members and caregivers to ease the pressure of taking care of the elderly. The average cost per year in Delaware is $107,310 and the cost ranges depending on the care needed for the seniors. For comparison, the national average cost a year is $110,000 a year.

State Housing Assistance

The State of Delaware offers several housing assistance programs for low-income individuals and families. Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) provides rental assistance programs, down payment assistance programs, and homebuyer education to help individuals and families achieve homeownership. Delaware Housing Trust Fund provides funding to non-profit organizations and government agencies to develop and preserve affordable rental housing in Delaware.

Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) assists low-income households to help them pay their home heating and cooling bills. Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (DEMAP) provides mortgage assistance to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure due to financial hardship such as job loss or medical emergency. Delaware State Housing Intake Program provides referrals and assistance to individuals seeking affordable housing in Delaware.

Delaware State Housing Counseling Program provides free housing counseling services to Delaware residents, including pre-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, and financial management counseling. Senior Tax Credit provides a tax credit of up to $400 to eligible senior homeowners in Delaware.

Rental Assistance

For seniors who can’t afford to pay rent or get their dream home, the state of Delaware has programs that can assist in paying for their rent or getting their dream home. Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly is a federally-funded program provides affordable housing with supportive services for low-income seniors. Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) provides rental assistance to low-income families and individuals who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The Senior Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) in Delaware provides rental assistance to eligible low-income seniors aged 62 and over. The program is administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) and is designed to help seniors afford safe, decent, and affordable rental housing.The SRAP program provides a monthly rental subsidy to eligible seniors who live in approved privately-owned rental units in Delaware. The subsidy amount is based on the senior’s income and the approved rent for the unit. Seniors must pay 30% of their income toward rent, and the subsidy pays the remaining amount up to the approved rent limit.

Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program provides short-term rental assistance to eligible households who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including seniors. The program is administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority. Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, provides rental assistance to eligible low-income families, including seniors, by subsidizing a portion of their rent payments.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low-income households, including seniors, to help pay their home heating and cooling bills. Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) provides a range of services to seniors, including housing assistance and home modifications to help seniors age in place. Eligibility requirements and application processes vary depending on the program. Visit Delaware State Housing Authority for information.

Home Repair and Improvement Grants

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program provides funding to non-profit organizations that offer a range of services to low-income individuals and families, including seniors, such as housing counseling and home repairs. Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) Home Repair Loan Program provides low-interest loans of up to $25,000 to eligible homeowners for home repairs and improvements, including energy efficiency upgrades. Eligibility requirements include owning and occupying a home in Delaware, meeting income and credit requirements, and having a home inspection to identify needed repairs.

USDA Rural Development Home Repair Grant program provides grants of up to $7,500 to eligible homeowners in rural areas to make home repairs and improvements. Eligibility requirements include owning and occupying a home in a rural area, having a low income, and being unable to obtain affordable credit elsewhere. Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program provides home repairs and improvements to low-income homeowners in Delaware through the use of volunteer labor and donated materials. Eligibility requirements include owning and occupying a home in Delaware, having a low income, and being unable to afford necessary repairs.

Weatherization Assistance Program provides free energy efficiency upgrades to eligible homeowners, including insulation, air sealing, and heating system repairs or replacements. Eligibility requirements include owning and occupying a home in Delaware, meeting income requirements, and having a home inspection to determine necessary upgrades. Homeowner Assistance Program provides financial assistance to eligible homeowners who have experienced temporary financial hardship that has made it difficult for them to pay their mortgage or make necessary home repairs. Eligibility requirements include owning and occupying a home in Delaware, having a low income, and experiencing a qualifying hardship such as a job loss or medical emergency.

Homeowner Rehabilitation Loan Program provides low-interest loans to eligible low- and moderate-income homeowners to make necessary repairs and improvements to their homes. Eligible repairs include structural repairs, electrical and plumbing upgrades, and energy efficiency improvements. Eligibility requirements include owning and occupying a home in Delaware, meeting income requirements, and having a home inspection to determine necessary repairs. Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program provides low-interest loans to eligible homeowners aged 62 or older for home repairs and modifications, including accessibility modifications, energy efficiency upgrades, and health and safety improvements. Income and credit requirements apply.

Low-Interest Loans for Housing

The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) offers several low-interest loan programs to help seniors with housing needs. Home Again program provides low-interest loans of up to $25,000 to eligible homeowners aged 62 or older for home repairs and modifications to support aging in place. Eligible repairs include accessibility modifications such as grab bars, wheelchair ramps, and bathroom modifications. Income and credit requirements apply.

Enhanced Homebuy program provides low-interest loans to eligible homebuyers aged 62 or older who are purchasing a home in Delaware. The loan can be used to supplement a primary mortgage and cover the down payment, closing costs, and other homebuying expenses. Income and credit requirements apply. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM): This is a loan program insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that allows eligible homeowners aged 62 or older to convert a portion of their home equity into cash. The loan is repaid when the homeowner sells the home or passes away, and the loan amount cannot exceed the value of the home.

Reverse Mortgage: This is a loan program that allows eligible homeowners aged 62 or older to borrow against the equity in their homes to supplement their retirement income. The loan is repaid when the homeowner sells the home or passes away, and the loan amount cannot exceed the value of the home.

Housing Assistance from Local Organizations or Charities

There are local organizations and charities in Delaware that assist with housing. Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County provides affordable housing solutions to low-income families and individuals in New Castle County. They offer home repair and renovation programs, homebuyer education courses, and homeownership opportunities. Catholic Charities provides a range of services to low-income individuals and families in Delaware, including emergency shelter and housing assistance, homelessness prevention services, and affordable rental housing.

Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC) provides foreclosure prevention and housing counseling services to low- and moderate-income homeowners in Delaware. They also offer affordable rental housing and financial education programs. Home of the Brave Foundation provides transitional housing and supportive services to homeless female veterans and their children in Delaware. They offer job training, education assistance, and other services to help residents achieve self-sufficiency.

Ministry of Caring provides emergency shelter and transitional housing to homeless individuals and families in Wilmington, Delaware. They also offer a range of support services, including case management, counseling, and job training. West End Neighborhood House provides a range of services to low-income individuals and families in Wilmington, Delaware, including affordable rental housing, homebuyer education courses, and financial counseling services.

Neighborhood House provides affordable housing and supportive services to low-income seniors in Wilmington, Delaware. They also offer a range of social and recreational activities to promote community engagement and well-being. Friendship House provides a range of services to homeless individuals and families in Delaware, including emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. They also offer case management, counseling, and employment services to help residents achieve stability and self-sufficiency. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing solutions to low-income families and individuals in Sussex County. They offer home repair and renovation programs, homebuyer education courses, and homeownership opportunities.

Legal Assistance when Facing Eviction

Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and families in Delaware. They offer representation to tenants facing eviction, as well as advice and counsel on landlord-tenant issues. Legal Services Corporation of Delaware provides legal services to low-income individuals and families in Delaware, including representation for tenants facing eviction. They also offer advice and counsel on landlord-tenant issues and other legal matters.

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services (DVLS) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and families in Delaware. They offer representation to tenants facing eviction, as well as advice and counsel on landlord-tenant issues. Delaware Office of the Attorney General provides legal assistance to tenants facing eviction, as well as investigation and enforcement of fair housing laws. They also offer consumer protection services, including protection against predatory lending and foreclosure rescue scams.

Delaware Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (DECCLAS) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and families in Delaware. They offer representation to tenants facing eviction, as well as advice and counsel on landlord-tenant issues. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Delaware provides legal assistance and advocacy to individuals facing eviction, as well as other civil liberties issues. They also provide education and training on tenants’ rights and fair housing laws.

For any additional information, visit the DHSS – Services and Programs for the Aging Population for further assistance.