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(a) A homeowner or tenant in a manufactured home community who is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or who is 62 years of age or older is eligible for lot rental assistance from the manufactured home community owner if the following criteria are met:
(1) The homeowner or tenant must have owned his or her manufactured home and/or resided in the home in the manufactured home community prior to July 1, 2006.
(2) The homeowner or tenant must reside full time and exclusively in the manufactured home in the manufactured home community, and the manufactured home must be the homeowner or tenant's only residence.
(3) The lot rent, excluding utility charges and other charges, fees, and assessments that are part of the services rider required under § 7006(a)(9) of this title, must exceed 30% of the income definition, as stated in the Delaware State Housing Authority Fact Book (DSHA Fact Book), or its successor document, for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the county median income limits based upon 40% of the county's median income for the number of residents in the home. For purposes of this section, “income” includes the income of all occupants of the manufactured home, whether or not an occupant is a tenant, and of all tenants of the manufactured home, whether or not a tenant is an occupant.
(4) The total liquid assets, including but not limited to bank accounts, stocks, and bonds of the homeowner or homeowners, tenant or tenants, and other residents, may not exceed $50,000.
(5) The homeowner, tenant, and other residents must provide to the community owner all documentation necessary to determine eligibility for lot rental assistance, such as bank records, eligibility letters, tax returns, and brokerage statements.
(6) The homeowner, tenant, and other residents and the manufactured home must be in substantial compliance with all manufactured home community rules, regulations, and standards.
(b) The homeowner, tenant, and other residents may not be recipients of any other rental assistance funding.
(c) Lot rental assistance or rent credit received by a homeowner or tenant pursuant to this section is not transferable upon the sale of the manufactured home and/or the transfer of the rental agreement to a third-party purchaser.
(d) A homeowner or tenant who qualifies for lot rental assistance based on the criteria in subsection (a) of this section is entitled to lot rental assistance for a term of 1 year. Lot rental assistance for a qualified homeowner or tenant is a credit which is computed as the difference between the then-current lot rent and 30% of the income definition for the county median income, as stated in the DSHA Fact Book for the number of residents in the home; provided, however, that the lot rent for an eligible homeowner or tenant after application of a lot rental assistance credit may not exceed 30% of the income definition for the county median income, as stated in the DSHA Fact Book for the number of residents in the home.
(e) The homeowner or tenant has the responsibility to reestablish annually eligibility for lot rental assistance if that homeowner or tenant believes that the homeowner or tenant remains eligible for lot rental assistance. The homeowner or tenant must reestablish eligibility within 45 days immediately before the anniversary date of the prior determination of eligibility.
(f)(1) A community owner who is required to participate in the lot rental assistance program shall provide notice of the program to all homeowners and tenants in the community, and shall provide, pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)a. or (f)(2)b. of this section, renewal notices to all program participants at least 45 days before a participant's term of assistance expires. If the community owner does not provide a renewal notice, the lot rental assistance credit remains in effect until 45 days after the community owner provides notice. Upon receiving notice, a homeowner or tenant has 45 days in which to reestablish program eligibility by providing necessary documents and information to the community owner. If the homeowner or tenant fails to reestablish eligibility within 45 days of notice, the community owner may terminate the lot rental assistance credit.
(2)a. Unless otherwise specified, renewal notice required by this subsection may be served personally upon a homeowner or tenant of a manufactured home community by leaving a copy of the notice at the homeowner's or tenant's dwelling place with an adult person who resides therein.
b. In lieu of personal service, renewal notice required by this subsection may be sent by regular first class mail with proof of mailing or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the homeowner or tenant at the address of the homeowner or tenant's rented lot, or at an alternative address which the homeowner or tenant provided in writing to the community owner.
(g) During the period of any lot rental assistance, a homeowner or tenant must remain current with payment of rent after the application of the lot rental assistance credit, as well as with payment of utility fees and other charges and assessments. If the homeowner or tenant does not pay all lot rent after the application of the lot rental assistance credit, as well as pay utility fees and other charges and assessments on or before the due date or during the grace period provided under the law or otherwise, then the lot rental assistance credit may be immediately terminated upon notice, and the homeowner or tenant will not be eligible for further lot rental assistance.
(h) A homeowner or tenant receiving lot rental assistance credit must notify the community owner immediately of any substantial change in that homeowner's or tenant's financial situation or in the composition of the household.
(i) Any intentional misrepresentation by an applicant of that applicant's financial situation or living arrangements which, if the truth were known, would have resulted in the denial of lot rental assistance shall result in the immediate termination of all lot rental assistance, and an immediate obligation to reimburse all credits received under the lot rental assistance program to the point of the initial misrepresentation. A community owner may treat the amounts due and owing as a rent delinquency.
(j) A community owner shall treat all documents and information submitted for the lot rental assistance program as confidential and may not disclose the documents or information publicly or use them in any manner other than to determine eligibility under the lot rental assistance program. Any intentional public dissemination of confidential information provided pursuant to the lot rental assistance program is subject to civil relief which is reasonable and appropriate under Delaware law.
(k) Nothing in this section prohibits the owner of a manufactured home community from offering a lot rental assistance program that provides benefits over and above the benefits set forth in this section, or that extends eligibility for participation in the program.
(l) The provisions of this section do not apply to a manufactured home community with 25 or fewer manufactured home lots; provided, however, that an owner of such a manufactured home community may voluntarily offer a lot rental assistance program to the homeowners and tenants of the community.
(m) For the purpose of benefiting persons aged 62 and older, this section establishes a narrow exception to the prohibition against housing discrimination on the basis of “age” as set forth in Chapter 46 of Title 6, otherwise known as Delaware's Fair Housing Act [§ 4600 et seq. of Title 6].
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Delaware Code Title 25. Property § 7021A. Lot Rental Assistance Program - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/de/title-25-property/de-code-sect-25-7021a/
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