SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An Oak Park woman who found the support of multiple community organizations will be able to keep her home after it was placed under receivership.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento said Wanda Clark’s Washington Avenue home that she bought in 1995 will be back under her ownership.

The problems surrounding the home started when Clark hired a contractor to build a second-story apartment above her garage to accommodate her daughter and grandchildren. At the time, she didn’t know the results would be disastrous.

“I found out later that he never had permits to do any of the stuff that he did,” Clark recalled when she spoke to the media in October of last year.

The house was left unfinished, causing leaks that led to thousands of dollars worth of mold and water damage. Before Clark could get her money back, her credit had been tarnished and the contractor died.

“I had got a pre-approved loan, a rehab loan to redo this,” Clark said.

Despite her best efforts, the city’s code enforcement visited her home 40 times over the past decade.

The home was condemned and under the control of the Bay Area Receivership Group. It was scheduled to be auctioned in November.

With mounting receivership and code enforcement fees, Clark was $500,000 in debt and forced to work 12-hour shifts as a janitor to pay for her shuttered home while she lived on her sister’s couch across the street. 

The city of Sacramento sent FOX40 the following statement last fall in response to Clark’s situation.

The City of Sacramento understands and appreciates the sensitivity of this case. City staff have worked with the property owner for more than 10 years to bring the house back to livable standards, waiving thousands of dollars in fees and helping multiple times throughout the process. Unfortunately, the house remains in a dangerous condition both to the property owner and the neighborhood. In addition, to the structural issues and presence of toxic mold, the house also became a location for illegal activity. At this phase, the Court has ruled that the house should be put into receivership. Nevertheless, the City remains committed to continuing its work to help secure a positive outcome for the property owner. – Peter Lemos, Code Compliance Chief, City of Sacramento

Peter Lemos, Code Compliance Chief, City of Sacramento

Clark’s family accused the city of elder abuse and community organizations rallied around the Oak Park resident to help her rebuild and get her home back.

Since then, Laine Himmelmann, with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, said Clark has worked with the city to address the receivership and the fees from code enforcement.

Tuesday morning, Habitat for Humanity, the Sacramento Housing Alliance and others will hold a press conference to talk about what’s next for Clark.

“While this is a middle chapter in the ongoing advocacy for Ms. Clark, not the end of the story, it is most certainly a win from where we were in October when Ms. Clark’s home was about to be auctioned off by a receivership – leaving her with nothing but a mountain of debt,” Himmelmann said.