Mayor Mike Purzycki Issues Statement Regarding the Decision to Hold Legislation Related to the City’s Housing Code
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today issued the following statement regarding the decision by City Council Member Charles “Bud” Freel to place a hold for the moment on legislation that would have reformed the City’s Housing Code to help preserve and strengthen City neighborhoods. While the Mayor understands the Council Member’s decision, he said he will continue to work for the legislation’s passage:
“For nearly three years, my Administration has made neighborhood preservation and stabilization a priority. It will continue to be a top priority for us, as will passage of the proposed changes to the Housing Code. The current Code makes it too easy for irresponsible landlords to ignore, for possibly as long as a year, all efforts by the City to get them to repair their properties. The bad landlords like the current process. They shamelessly collect rent from tenants without having to provide the tenants with a safe and decent place to live. The current Housing Code allows this tragedy to happen every day in Wilmington, and for three years our efforts to correct this situation have been thwarted. We will not give up on our goal of instituting an enforcement process that protects the rights of renters and homeowners and strengthens neighborhoods. When misinformation rules the day, then outdated or ineffective laws and policies prevail. To say that misinformation, intentional or otherwise, has permeated the public debate surrounding the proposed changes to the Housing Code Ordinance is an understatement. But I believe the truth about this legislation will eventually prevail. I look forward to continuing to inform more and more people about how the changes being proposed will produce a more effective and fair way to stop the decline of our neighborhoods. If I have learned anything from being Mayor, getting people to do the right thing sometimes takes a lot longer than should be necessary, but it is worth every ounce of effort and energy to see it through.”
The Mayor today thanked the members of Council who have supported an open debate about the proposed legislation based on facts and not emotion.