AARP Analysis Shows an Increase in Homelessness and Evictions in Delaware

Posted on 03/23/24

A new AARP analysis of homelessness and eviction data estimates that 723 adults aged 45 and older experienced homelessness in Delaware in 2022 and 2,612 residents 45 and older experienced eviction from their homes that year. The total number of adults statewide experiencing homelessness in 2022 is estimated at 1,361, up from 1,015 in 2021. The total number of adults statewide evicted in 2022 is estimated at 5,016, up from 2,915 in 2021.

Each of Delaware’s three counties have roughly the same rates of people experiencing homelessness and evictions in 2023.

“Millions of older adults are on the brink of eviction, living just one major rent increase[GS1] or life event away from losing their home and having no other option for where to live,” said Sheila Grant, AARP Delaware Advocacy Director. “AARP Delaware is committed to working with state and local leaders to support programs and policies that will reduce evictions and homelessness.”

The analysis covers a nine-year period beginning in 2019 and projects homelessness and evictions into 2027. The data shows a rise in evictions and homelessness toward the end of the pandemic, peaking in 2022, and forecasts a gradual decrease, leveling off then increasing slightly by 2027.

Delaware

2022

2023

2027

Homelessness

1,361

1,181

1,069

Evictions

5,016

3,973

3,746

“The pandemic and related economic effects, like rising inflation and interest rates, have exacerbated the housing crisis among older adults, and many are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage along with the rising cost of food and everyday expenses,” said Samar Jha, AARP’s Government Affairs Director.

 

Additional findings include:

 

Delawareans Aged 45+

2022

2023

2027

Rate of Homelessness

49.4%

49.8%

51.2%

Share of Evictions

49.26%

50.5%

52%


To alleviate the housing crisis, AARP Delaware has taken steps to find innovative ways to give Delawareans access to affordable housing. The State Office wants to make the expanded use of accessory dwelling units (ADU’s) a statewide priority this year, following a legislative win in 2023. ADU’s, which can take the form of in-law suites, garage apartments, or backyard cottages, can boost affordable and accessible housing options. AARP Delaware fully supported a Kent County Ordinance in 2023 that relaxed the regulations on ADU’s.

“If housing options are not expanded quickly, Delaware’s homeless rate will likely remain steady,” said Sheila Grant. [GS1]Yes, I think we do want to focus on rent increases, since DE is one of the worst states in that category, and our purpose is to push for housing solutions.



Hands of Homeless Man Receiving Bowl of Soup
68/© Ocean/Corbis

This story is provided by AARP Delaware. Visit the AARP Delaware page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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