Half of Durham public housing failed recent inspections by federal authorities

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Half of Durham’s public housing complexes did not receive passing scores on their most recent inspections by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Built in 1953, McDougald Terrace is the largest and oldest public housing community in Durham. 

After 13 tenants were treated for high levels of carbon monoxide recently, there are renewed calls to make major improvements or replace McDougald Terrace entirely.

“Have you ever flushed your toilet and feces comes up in your tub?  That’s what we deal with in McDougald on a regular basis,” said tenant Samantha Crowder.

Crowder told Durham City Council members Monday night that maintenance issues and poor living conditions plagued the facility for years.

CBS 17 examined inspection scores from HUD, which grades complexes on a 100 point scale based on the physical condition, financial condition, management operations and capital fund program.

On its last inspection in March 2019, McDougald Terrace scored 31 points.  During its 2018 inspection, the complex scored 21 points.

According to HUD, a passing score is 60 points. McDougald Terrace scored 63 points during its 2016 inspection.

Six other DHA complexes scored below 60 points on their 2019 inspections. 

The Apartments at Hoover Road scored the lowest with 30 points

“Out of all the complexes in Durham, I thought Hoover Road was one of the ones kept up the most,” said Quanisha Foster.

The 54 townhomes that make up the Hoover Road complex were built in 1968. 

Foster has lived there since 2018. While she’s had no major maintenance issues, she says it’s time for a major overhaul on all the city’s public housing facilities.

“These apartments are old so everything needs to be rebuilt. They need to start fresh,” said Foster.

Of the seven complexes that received passing scores on their 2019 inspections, Worth Street scored the highest with 92 points.

The single-family home development was built in 2014.  According to DHA’s website the waiting list for the property is currently closed.

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