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John's Public Policy Blog
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City of Wilmington Resolution for Moratorium on Nonprofit Group Homes

Posted By John Baker, Friday, April 19, 2013

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.

-John

Tags:  Group Homes  Nonprofits  resolution  Wilmington 

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