As a matter of being a source of information to you, I'd like to give you an update on a matter that took place during last night's Wilmington City Council meeting.
A Wilmington City Resolution sponsored by Council-member Loretta Walsh, asking Governor Markell to initiate a moratorium on funding, by the
State, of new nonprofit group homes passed the Wilmington City Council last
night with a 8 to 2 vote. The resolution passed with one amendment
changing a call for a "one year moratorium” to "six months.” The
resolution asks that during this period of time, a committee be formed to work
through challenges that residents and the city identified at a public meeting
in early March. The March meeting focused on community services and
nonprofits in West Center City.
Concerns were raised by councilmembers about running afoul
of fair housing laws and possible law suits, like the recent one in Sussex
County. In that instance, the county did not approve a builder for a low income
housing project. The result was a law suit that awarded the plaintiff
monetary compensation. Wilmington City Council doesn’t believe that this
call to the Governor for a "time-out,” as they called it, would place the city
at legal risk of running afoul of federal, or any other laws.
The resolution will now be communicated to Governor Markell
for him to take action on it. In talking with a Delaware Department of
Health and Social Services representative, I found out they are actively
working on this matter and do not expect the Governor to approve a moratorium
on funding for new nonprofit group homes.
A Wilmington City meeting to examine concerns of residents
and nonprofits will be convened in the next couple of weeks. Contact Council-member Loretta Walsh’s office for more details, or if you are interested
in serving on or attending the meetings: 302.576.2140
As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments.