Rental Housing In Delaware

Delaware Rental Overview

The population of Delaware, according to the 2010 Census, is 897,934. The total number of households in the state is 342,297. The average household size for Delaware is 2.44. The total number of renter households in the state is 95,573 which means that 27.92% of households are renter households. Compared to all other U.S. States, Delaware is ranked 48th in percentage of renters. District Of Columbia is ranked first with 57.99% and West Virginia ranks last with only 26.55%.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median rent paid among all renter households and housing types and sizes in Delaware is $989 per month. Ranked against all other states in the country, Delaware ranks 11th for the highest median rent. Hawaii ranks first at $1,387 and West Virginia ranks last at $618. Though rents are set more locally, statewide median rents provide a basic outlook of housing costs for each state.

The number of vacant rental units in Delaware is 9,232 representing a vacancy rate of 10%. Among all U.S. states, Delaware ranks 46th for the lowest vacancy rates. New York ranks first with a vacancy rate of 4.5% and South Carolina ranks last with a vacancy rate of 12.9%. As lower vacancy rates are an indication of a healthier rental housing portfolio, Delaware’s rental housing portfolio is performing well below the National average.

Project Based Section 8 56 4,557
Section 202 19 860
Section 811 27 300
Section 515 51 1,681
RDRA 45 1,308
LIHTC 123 6,034
Senior 37 1,390
Public Housing 27 1,067
Section 8 Voucher 6 5,049
Total 217 11,837
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

‡This program is not project based, instead Housing Authorities provide vouchers to individual renters. In the state of Delaware there are 6 independent Housing Authorities that may issue these vouchers.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Delaware is 54.50. The largest market for federally assisted housing in the state is Wilmington at 3,706 units and the smallest is Townsend at 12 unit(s). 37 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 1,390 units. Of the 11,837 units, 3,872 units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Affordable Housing by Counties in Delaware ranked by federally assisted units

There are 3 counties or county equivalents in Delaware. The county or county equivalent with the largest population is New Castle County at 538,479 and the smallest is Kent County at 162,310. The county or county equivalent with the largest percentage of renter households is New Castle County at 30.26% and The county or county equivalent with lowest portion of renters is Sussex County at 21.44%.

The density of Federal housing assistance at the county level in Delaware ranges from a low of 169.2 units per 1,000 renter households in New Castle County to a high of 198.4 units per 1,000 renter households in Kent County. The average Federal housing assistance density for all counties in Delaware is 180.4 units per 1,000 renter households.

The table below summarizes the Federally assisted housing located in each county in Delaware. All major affordable housing programs are provided on a county by county basis. Click on the name of the county to see a more in depth summary of affordable housing in that county.

CountyTotal Units
New Castle County 6,501
Sussex County 2,953
Kent County 2,243

Affordable Housing by City in Delaware ranked by federally assisted units

We are tracking 25 cities in Delaware that have at least one Federally assisted housing community. With a population of 897,934, Harbeson has the largest population of these cities. There are 1 Federally assisted housing communities in Harbeson which are home to about 20 families, most of which are lower income families.

The table below provides a summary of all Federally assisted housing communities by city in Delaware. All the major affordable housing funding program breakdowns are provided. Click on the city name to get a full affordable rental housing report for each city in Delaware.

CityTotal Units
Wilmington 3,706
Newark 1,278
Dover 1,231
Milford 718
Claymont 681
Seaford 630
Laurel 538
New Castle 532
Millsboro 411
Georgetown 361
Lewes 305
Middletown 268
Smyrna 260
Delmar 193
Milton 169
Harrington 158
Bridgeville 120
Selbyville 75
Felton 68
Blades 33
Greenwood 28
Rehoboth Beach 24
Harbeson 20
Christiana 18
Townsend 12

Housing Authorities in Delaware ranked by assisted units and vouchers

Housing authorities are governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities that manage various Federal housing assistance programs on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs include Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other programs.

There are 6 housing authorities in Delaware. These housing authorities own and operate an aggregate of public housing units and administer Section 8 rental vouchers. Of the 6 housing authorities, 66.7% have both a public housing and Section 8 program.

The largest housing authority in Delaware by total housing assistance units managed is Wilmington Housing Authority with 3,382 public housing units under management (1,542 public housing units and 1,840 Section 8 vouchers).

The table below provides a list of housing authorities in Delaware and includes each housing authorities public housing and Section 8 voucher count. Click on the housing authority name to get more details on the housing authority.

NamePublic Housing UnitsSection 8 Vouchers
Wilmington Housing Authority 1,542 1,840
New Castle County Community Development and Housing Division - 1,825
Delaware State Housing Authority - 955
Dover Housing Authority 294 220
Delaware State Housing Authority 514 -
Newark Housing Authority 98 209

Federally Assisted Affordable Rental Housing

According to our affordable housing data, Delaware has a total of 217 rental properties that receive at least one form of Federal housing assistance and are at least partially reserved for low income persons. These properties contain an estimated 11,837 rental housing units. (Note: Some of the Federal source data we use does not include total unit count for a property -- most notably the LIHTC database -- so the number of units listed here may be less than the actual.)

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is the largest assistance program by unit count. The program assists 6,034 in Delaware.




Average Household Size


Total Renters


Renter Households


Median Rent


Gross Rent Paid By All Renters


Vacant Units For Rent


Vacancy Rate


Federally Assisted Units


Federally Assisted Projects


Tax Credit Projects/Units


Project Based Section 8 Projects/Units


Section 515 Projects/Units


Section 202 Projects/Units


Section 811 Projects/Units


RD Rental Assisted Projects/Units


Senior Projects/Units


Units with Project Based Rent Subsidy


Average Units Per Property