NEW CASTLE — A new pilot program from the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities will seek to support older Delawareans to age safely in their own homes.
The program will help with minor home repairs for eligible Delawareans age 60 or older who own their homes or have the permission of landlords.
“That may make the difference in staying in their homes and their communities,” DSAAPD director Melissa Smith said. “That’s ultimately the goal of our division, to help people age in place so they can stay in their homes and communities.”
Ms. Smith announced the pilot program at the Rose Hill Community Center near New Castle on Thursday, as May is designated Older Americans Month.
The Del. 9 corridor, just south of Wilmington, will be the first area the program will operate in, through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County and its Healthy Homes Program.
Ms. Smith said the state is looking to expand the program throughout Delaware after gauging the need for similar services downstate.
“We’re looking to be statewide,” she said. “We’re working as a pilot in New Castle with Habitat for Humanity and looking to learn about what services are needed and then from there expand into Kent and Sussex County.”
Healthy Homes services that may be available through this project include sidewalk or step repair, wheelchair ramps, carpet removal for people with asthma, energy-efficiency services, high-height toilets, grab bar installation, smoke detector installation and pest removal.
“We’re thrilled to see this program launch because it’s adding a new service that isn’t readily available to older Delawareans,” Ms. Smith said.
Before the pilot program launches officially, DSAAPD said individuals 60 or older in need of minor home repair services in the Del. 9 corridor should call Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County at 302-652-0365 to start the application, or the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1-800-223-9074 for more information.