2nd District Council Member Shané Darby Aims to Develop a Landlord Engagement Strategy

Press Alert 
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
2nd District Council Member Shané Darby Aims to Develop a
Landlord Engagement Strategy

Council Member Darby partners with the National League of Cities and Stanford Legal Design Lab as a participant in their Landlord Engagement Lab.
Wilmington, DE – Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, more individuals and families have experienced unemployment and are months behind on rent payments. With the federal eviction moratorium ending last year, millions have found themselves facing possible eviction. The pandemic has prompted federal, state, local, and community-based organizations, and landlords to think creatively about responding to missed rent and utility payments, and helping families avoid the severe legal, economic, and social consequences of eviction proceedings.

Council Member Shané Darby of the 2nd District has partnered with the National League of Cities (NLC) and Stanford Legal Design Lab as a participant in their Landlord Engagement Lab (LEL) to provide structure and content to the City’s policies that will aim to help prevent evictions and support community members by developing and refining strategies for engaging with landlords.

The LEL program provides actionable work sessions, tailored resources, and opportunities for shared learning with other small-to-midsized cities. Through Councilwoman Darby’s participation in the LEL cohort program, tools will be gained in learning how to effectively operationalize racial equity in a landlord engagement strategy; how to facilitate or strengthen relationships with landlords; how to develop policies, programs, and resources to support small landlords and preventing evictions. For a complete program overview of LEL, click here.

“Landlord engagement is vital to the work of preventing housing instability and evictions. What happened with the displacement of residents from the 27 units along Adams Street is the exact reason why the city of Wilmington needs to be a part of Landlord Engagement Lab,” said Councilwoman Darby. “We have to find better ways to engage our landlords behind fees and fines to provide affordable and habitual rental properties.”

A landlord engagement strategy can help ensure that local landlords are aware of and make use of available programs, while also communicating important information to tenants. Councilwoman Darby seeks to create a strategy that will foster better relationships with City landlords to make sure the city is providing quality homes and more assistance to tenants that will help decrease evictions and homelessness in Wilmington. One focus of Councilwoman Darby also includes helping renters remain housed. She has extended the opportunity for participation in the LEL program to the mayor’s administration, City Council, Greater Wilmington Housing Providers, H.O.M.E.S. Campaign, Building People Power, and the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. Public meetings will be held through Zoom beginning July 6, 2022, and every first Wednesday after that, beginning at 6:30pm.

“We are interested in learning about programs and policies that work so that we can bring them to our city. We also want to be able to broaden our understanding of how we can reframe the role of landlords, and particularly the smaller landlords who are often local, community-based African American and Latino entrepreneurs, from people who are undermining our neighborhoods to potential partners in strengthening our neighborhoods,” stated Councilwoman Darby. “We often feel isolated and frustrated in our efforts to bring about change legislatively and programmatically. We are eager to participate in a broader community of civic innovators so that we can feel more confident about the ideas we are advancing and be better equipped to communicate with multiple stakeholders about the possibility for positive change that they offer our community.”

The National League of Cities is the voice of America’s cities, towns, and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. To learn more about their LEL, visit the link here.

Yesenia Taveras
Director of Communications,
Wilmington City Council
Office: (302) 576-2585
Email: ytaveras@wilmingtonde.gov
City Council Website: www.wilmingtoncitycouncil.com
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