Durham housing authority works to fill maintenance worker positions through job fair

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – On Wednesday, the Durham Housing Authority worked to fill dozens of administrative and vacant positions through a job fair at the NC Works office on south Briggs in Durham.

DHA officials said that they have a total of 31 vacancies that include administrative and maintenance jobs. As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, officials said they had made 12 employment offers. If all of those individuals accept the offers, DHA will have filled 40 percent of its vacancies.

More than 200 people registered for the job fair as the Durham Housing Authority is looking to hire project managers, plumbers, maintenance technicians, and site laborers.

No one with the Durham Housing Authority was available for an interview at the job fair, but DHA officials have said in the past that they need more maintenance workers to help them get caught up on a backlog of work orders.

CBS 17 has been reporting for months on the deplorable conditions some families have been forced to live in which include stoves catching on fire, leaky pipes, floors caving in and maggots.

The latest data from the Durham Housing Authority shows that they currently have a backlog of 654 work orders. This is down from the 1,423 work orders that DHA officials said they had back in May.

DHA officials said COVID is partially to blame for the backlog, but that they also need more workers to help them get caught up. DHA has brought on some temporary workers to help with repairs, but they are also seeking to permanently fill these positions.

Some people at the job fair were hired on the spot, including Latoya McCrea who landed a job as a housing stability specialist.

She said her role will be to inform public housing tenants about how they can get help with rent.

“I was hired on the spot, that’s never happened before,” McCrea said. “I’m just really excited for this opportunity.”

Families who live in Durham public housing are hoping that DHA will fill these maintenance positions, so they won’t have to wait as long for repairs made to their units.

Raquel Cates lives at McDougald Terrace and said she often must wait weeks for repairs to be made in her apartment.

“I think it would help a lot,” Cates said. “It’s about having more people with experience who can help.”
If you missed Wednesday’s job fair, you can still apply at the Durham Housing Authority’s website.

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