Durham Housing Authority still working through backlog of hundreds of problems in many units

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — From leaky pipes to appliances not working properly, the Durham Housing Authority is working through a backlog of hundreds of work orders.

Alexandria Evans walked CBS 17 through her apartment at Hoover Road and showed us the black mold on the ceiling of her bathroom.

“I feel like its getting worse,” Evans said. “Eventually, I know it can cause health problems, that’s my biggest concern.”

RELATED: Rats, leaky pipes, and damaged ceilings: Durham public housing residents demand DHA address issues in their apartments

Evans also said her floor in her upstairs bathroom is unstable and she has concerns about it caving in.

In addition, there are large cracks that separate her floor from her bathtub upstairs.

She said sometimes water from the shower leaks into her living room downstairs, damaging her ceiling and some of her belongings.

“You want your house no matter where it is to be a sanctuary and this is not that,” Evans said.

Evans said she has been waiting for the Durham Housing Authority to repair her floor for six months.

Anthony Scott, CEO for the Durham Housing Authority, said they are currently working through a backlog of 600 work orders.

He said this past month, they had about 1,000 work orders that came in that were new.

Officials with the housing authority said COVID-19 is partially to blame for the backlog, but as CBS 17 reported back in January, the authority is also working to create a maintenance repair hotline that will help them better keep track of work orders and speed up the repair process.

“I’ve heard from several residents who say ‘I requested a particular repair and it hasn’t happened,'” Scott said during a virtual town hall meeting this week. “I checked with that community and they said we don’t have a record of that work order.”

During a virtual town hall meeting hosted by North Carolina State Representative Zack Hawkins this week, Scott updated families about the plan to create a maintenance repair hotline that they will soon be able to call.

“Those calls for maintenance are going to go to a single number,” Scott said. “They will all be recorded. We will then know for sure when those maintenance requests were put in.”

He said the earliest this line would be up and running would be in May, because they are still looking for a third-party call center to handle the calls.

“Frankly, we all know that DHA has not done a good enough job,” Scott said. “What we are trying to do is see if we can raise the level of accountability.”

Scott said that the authority has hired some additional temporary workers in recent months to help them get caught up on the backlog.

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