Durham Housing Authority crews begin work to address maggot infestation at public housing complex

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – On Monday morning, crews with the Durham Housing Authority began working to address the problem with a maggot infestation at the 519 E Main public housing apartment building in downtown, formerly known as Oldham Towers.

This comes after CBS 17 was the first to report about a problem with maggots crawling into tenants’ apartments from the trash chutes on Wednesday.

Virginia Lucke lives on the third floor of the high-rise building, right next to the trash chute.

“It’s very, very nerve-racking, I’m terrified of these things,” Lucke said.

She said the trash chute had been backed up for almost three weeks and tenants had started to pile up their trash bags outside the chute.

As a result, she said maggots started crawling into her apartment.

“It terrifies me, I can’t sleep at night, I’m scared to get out of my bed,” Lucke said.

On Friday, CBS 17 checked back in with the Durham Housing Authority and they said a tenant had thrown a large object down the chute, which caused it to back up.

They said the chute would be cleared on Friday.

But over the weekend Lucke said the problem with the maggots had gotten worse and more of them had started crawling into her apartment.

“The maggots were inside of my apartment and close to my stove this morning,” Lucke said. “It’s just not right to have to live this way.”

On Monday morning, CBS 17’s cameras captured more maggots outside Lucke’s apartment that were attempting to crawl in under her door.

CBS 17 reached out to the Durham Housing Authority on Monday morning to see what they could do to address the problem.

DHA officials said in a text that crews had been on site since 8:30 am cleaning around the chute and the common areas.

While CBS 17 was there, a crew came up to clear the trash chute and another crew treated and cleaned the areas in front of the trash chute.

But when opening the trash chute, our cameras still captured maggots inside of it.

A DHA maintenance worker told Lucke that an exterminator would come later on to clean out the maggots in the chutes.

Lucke said she just hopes that DHA gets rid of the maggots for good.

“I’m trying to keep from crying, I just need help,” Lucke said. “I don’t have the money to move. I want to thank everybody at Channel 17, and I want to thank Crystal for all she’s done. I just appreciate all that’s been done so far.”

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