In our December 22 edition of the paper, Thomasi McDonald wrote about Durham’s Braswell Apartments tenants, who were asked to leave their homes following the sale of the property to a new landlord right around the holidays. Many tenants are elderly, have health problems, little money, and nowhere else to go. Our readers had thoughts.

“The Cities of Durham and Raleigh have enough money that they could buy these properties when they become available and help keep them affordable. Both municipalities should be actively and aggressively working to preserve affordable/low income housing!” wrote commenter Aaliyah Blaylock on Facebook.

“What is the mayor saying about this,” asks Facebook commenter Carlos Lamont Jackson. “These are our elders—what have the black churches done to help out? This is the time we must make the term community mean community and come together to assist these elders of society …. we mock certain communities but in the #asian communities they would already have a place to go and live. Why?

“Community strong needs to happen …. A community true community and not just a neighbor hood would join and make sure they are not evicted but actually elevated to better and cleaning living spaces.”

“Why doesn’t Durham have laws to protect these tenants?” asks Facebook commenter Ann Deupree

According to later reports, the property’s new owners won’t evict the tenants right away. Charles Bulthuis, owner of Reformation Asset Management (RAM), which is acting as the new property manager, said the tenants should leave temporarily due to falling-down roofs and walls, flooding, rodent and insect infestation, and other issues that RAM wants to address.  

For the web, McDonald also wrote about Durham County commissioners’ decision to approve construction of a new youth jail and how activists who opposed the new facility felt betrayed by the vote after a task force recommended delaying a vote on the proposal for at least six months. 

“Welcome to Durham 2021,” wrote Facebook commenter Megan Gray. “All proposals for development are now welcome and encouraged, no matter the view of the community.”

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Reformation Asset Management did not purchase the property but instead was hired by the new owners to act as property manager.

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