McDougald Terrace residents talk about excitement of moving back home after weeks in hotels

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) On Friday, a few families living in Durham’s McDougald Terrace were back in their homes after spending weeks living in hotels.

“A breath of fresh air,” Teela Shaw said.

For Shaw and her five children, this Valentine’s Day is special.

“It feels different,” she said. “It feels like I just moved in.”

The start to their new year came with adversity, having to move out of their home because of problems throughout their unit.

“The water heater was leaking,” Shaw said. “My stove was leaking. All of my ceilings were leaking, and the bathroom, just mold everywhere.”

Spending weeks at a hotel, the mother told CBS 17 being out of her home was difficult, but all too familiar.

“Feeling like we’re homeless again. Me and my kids struggled with homelessness for so long. [We] finally got our house, and then boom we’ve got to leave,” Shaw said. “I had to get mental help [and] get my kids mental help. We felt boxed in.”

But now, they’re all smiles.

Durham housing officials said eight apartments passed inspection, and units will have new heaters, water heaters and stoves.

Shaw believes officials are addressing the problems the right way.

“I feel like they’re doing what they need to do, as far as getting people back in their homes safely, instead of painting over stuff, and just rigging stuff up,” she said. “They’re actually doing what they’re supposed to do.”

With new appliances, Shaw and her family are ready for a new beginning with peace of mind in home sweet home.

Durham housing officials said families that moved back Friday will have to leave again sometime in the future for three to five days for electric work to be done in the homes.

It’s unknown when all of the families will be able to come back, but CBS 17 is told the next group will be able to come home next week.

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