The Durham Housing Authority, which has been deemed “troubled” by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has a $2.9 million surplus in its Section 8 voucher program, the Herald-Sun reports. According to the H-S, that surplus could have been used to grant housing vouchers to 358 Section 8 recipients this year alone. At a Durham City Council work session last week, DHA CEO Harrison Shannon announced that 1,500 Durham residents were on the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers, out of a total waiting list of 2,500. (Harrison said that 1,000 residents were on the waiting list for public housing.) At that session, James Whitcomb, Regional Director for HUD–which funds DHA–insisted that DHA’s handling of Section 8, not DHA itself, was troubled, and that the program was now ‘looking pretty good.”
As a result of the surplus–which DHA spokesperson Jean Bolduc attributed to “unexpected” federal funding, leading the local authority to be “swimming in money”–the H-S reports that HUD will cut funding to DHA’s Section 8 program by $1.3 million next year.