Tenants in Durham public housing community dealing with maggots, flies after trash chutes not emptied for weeks

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Families who live in a public housing high-rise building in Durham said they are dealing with flies and maggots after trash chutes have not been emptied for weeks.

Virginia Lucke lives at 519 East Main, a public housing apartment building downtown.

She said the trash chutes have not been emptied for 2 1/2 weeks.

“People are now throwing their garbage in front of the trash compact, and it has never stunk like this before,” Lucke said.

As a result of the trash piling up, she said she has had to deal with flies that have been coming into her apartment.

“They follow me around like I’m food,” Lucke said.

She said they have also seen maggots coming from the trash chutes and CBS 17’s cameras were rolling as a maggot crawled into her apartment.

And the problems do not stop there, as the east stairwell of the apartment building reeks of urine.

CBS 17 also found more trash and feces on the steps of the stairwell.

“It’s a wild place,” Lucke said. “I pray to God someone will do something about it.”

Lucke said she reached out to the Durham Housing Authority, but she said nothing has been done.

CBS 17 reached out to the Durham Housing Authority, and they said they had not received any complaints about flies or maggots from tenants.

A DHA spokesperson told CBS 17 through text that they found out about the overflow of trash on Wednesday morning and staff was notified immediately.

The spokesperson said a large item was thrown down the chute that created a backup, and they have staff who are working to clear it.

In addition, DHA said they need more maintenance workers that can make sure areas of the apartment buildings are regularly cleaned.

The Durham Housing Authority said they plan to send out flyers to tenants of the apartment building at 519 E Main to let them know how to properly dispose of trash, to prevent this from happening again.

As for Virginia Lucke, she said she hopes something gets down about the trash and the maggots soon.

“We’re human beings and some of us need help badly,” Lucke said.

DHA said they have four maintenance work openings and candidates can apply here.

DHA officials also said if anyone currently needs to report a problem, residents should call their property management office, and the number for the management office at 519 E Main is 919-682-5319.

The Durham Housing Authority announced in January they would be creating one hotline that all residents could call so DHA could keep better track of work orders.

However, that hotline is not expected to be up and running until the end of the month.

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