Protesters speak out about evictions, public housing conditions at DHA board meeting

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Protesters gathered outside before the Durham Housing Authority’s board meeting on Wednesday night and called for an end to evictions and better living conditions at public housing complexes in Durham.

The rally comes as nearly 300 families remain displaced from McDougald Terrace due to problems with carbon monoxide in hundreds of apartments at the complex.

After the rally, protesters made their concerns known inside the DHA board meeting during the public comment period.

Brittany Bass and her two children voluntarily evacuated from McDougald Terrace almost a month ago and she said even with the repairs underway as a result of the carbon monoxide problems, she is still concerned about going home.

“Just because of everything that’s been discovered and found, I just don’t feel safe I don’t feel comfortable,” Bass said.

Other families talked about concerns with mold, sewage buildup, and pests.

After the public comment period, Scott gave families an update on the repairs underway at McDougald Terrace which include replacing the heaters, the ventilation systems, and they will eventually replace all of the gas stoves with electric stoves.

On Wednesday night, the DHA Board approved up to $6 million in emergency expenditures for McDougald Terrace families.

Scott said that they will also be requesting funding from HUD as well.

He said, for now, they are doing everything they can to get the 280 families back home by the second or third week in February.

“We are working desperately 24 hours a day pretty much, seven days a week to try to address this issue to make sure that we can bring our families back to safe homes in the McDougald Terrace community,” Scott said.

So far the Durham Housing Authority has spent $1.3 million on temporary relocation costs for McDougald Terrace families.

The total cost for repairs at McDougald Terrace is expected to be $4.3 million.

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