The Durham Housing Authority’s director blamed the issues befalling McDougald Terrace on cuts in federal funding. 

Chief executive director Anthony Scott Durham’s housing authority chief says his agency is doing what it can to resolve the public health crisis at the city’s largest and oldest public housing complex, where over 300 residents were displaced over carbon monoxide concerns earlier this month. So far, inspectors have over 200 appliances at the complex leaking carbon monoxide. 

Scott told the INDY Monday the federal government’s decision to underfund the maintenance and upkeep of the nation’s public housing communities is at the heart of the issues that have beset McDougald Terrace.

“Public housing’s [federal] allocation is less than what it should be,” Scott said. “It’s been going on for years. Housing authorities [across the country] have pushed back time after time for more capital funds.”

Scott, on Saturday during a Q&A session with McDougald Terrace residents at Burton Elementary School likened the funding cuts to annually filling a one-gallon water bucket only three-quarters full.

“That means each year you’re a quarter-gallon short,” he says.

As of November, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development faced a more than $35 billion repair backlog.

“I understand people’s frustrations,” Scott said on Monday afternoon. “I understand the anger and frustration they have. I understand that it comes to me. But I also want them to understand that it’s bigger than the Durham Housing Authority too.”

It’s been a little over a week since DHA relocated more than 300 residents from Mcdougall Terrace to 12 hotels after reports of a massive gas leak and concerns of appliances producing elevated levels of carbon monoxide, mold conditions, lead paint, and pervasive sewage problems. Concerns about living conditions reached a breaking point early this month following reports that three infants have died in the community since late November.

So far, DHA has spent about $485,000 of its $7 million Capital Fund to house the residents at hotels, while providing them with financial stipends.

“We are seeking emergency funds from the federal government,” he told reporters on Monday.

So far, inspectors have found carbon monoxide emissions from 133 stoves, 34 water heaters, and 35 furnaces.

DHA late last week extended the residents’ relocation at nearby hotels at least through this week.

When asked when the residents will be allowed back into their homes, Scott said the agency will have more information later this week. 

One reply on “DHA Blames McDougald Terrace Crisis on Federal Funding Cuts”

  1. The DHA has killed more black children than the SCV! They are a hate group with blood on their hands and they belong in jail! Who will file a lawsuit against them? They knew for three years those homes had bad conditions and did nothing about it. Indy week endorsed Steve who is helping white supremacy do well at this rate and y’all backed the housing bond which does nothing for black lives! They are all complicit

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