Homeowners' Guide to Proposed "Blight Bill"
As a result of resident feedback, the proposed Blight Bill has been revised and the City cannot add unpaid code violation fines to homeowner's tax bills. Download the revised Ordinance No. 19-026 (Agenda Item #4654) here.
What It Would Do
• For home-owners (people who own and live in their home), Ordinance 19-026 would leave in place existing rights of due process, including guarantee of third-party oversight by the courts before you get fined.
• The City can foreclose on the house to collect the fine.
How It Would Work
1) L&I issues a citation for a code violation, which are listed in Chapter 34 of the City Code, and range from peeling paint to structural failures.
2) If the homeowner doesn’t fix the code violation, the City of Wilmington can take the homeowner to court.
3) After hearing presentations from L&I and the homeowner, the court can set timelines for completion and approve fines ranging from $250 to $5,000, plus $50 a day for code violations that aren’t fixed, and convict the homeowner of a misdemeanor.
4) Any fines imposed by the court become a first-priority lien on the house, meaning that the City gets paid before any other creditor from the sale of the property
5) The City can foreclose on the house to collect the lien.
A Better Alternative
Instead of proposed "Blight Bill" Ordinance 19-026, Wilmington needs a balanced set of policies to improve housing and stabilize neighborhoods. Find more information on a better alternative here: Code Reform that Works
Call City Council at (302) 576-2140 and Ask Them to Vote NO on Ordinance 19-026 (Agenda Item #4654) and ask for the community to be involved in creating a balanced set of policies to improve housing and strengthen neighborhoods!