Durham public housing families keep waiting for help, maintenance hotline hasn’t launched

North Carolina

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Matilda Harper walked CBS 17 through her home at the Club Boulevard public housing complex on Tuesday afternoon. She showed her broken floor tiles and the foundation cracks in her walls.

“It’s terrible, I hate this,” Harper said.

Harper showed how the floor tiles coming up from her floors in almost all of her rooms.

She said she called the Durham Housing Authority’s main office months ago about these issues, but nothing has been done.

“We have a hard time getting maintenance out here to do anything,” Harper said. “So, we just have to wait.”

In January, the Durham Housing Authority announced it would create a maintenance repair hotline that families could call to file work orders. There was a problem with work orders not getting properly tracked.

Two weeks ago, CBS 17 spoke with the company, AnswerNet, which is working on launching the hotline.
At the time, the company told CBS 17 they had a target launch date of July 7.

On Tuesday, CBS 17 reached out to both the Durham Housing Authority and AnswerNet to find out if the hotline will be ready to launch by July 7. In an email on Tuesday afternoon, DHA CEO Anthony Scott said that the company AnswerNet is still setting up the system. A formal launch is expected by mid-July.

Harper said she hopes the hotline will bring changes to DHA’s repair process. She also said she doesn’t think it will fix all of the issues.

“Maybe it won’t take them so long to get somebody out here,” Harper said. “I don’t think it will solve the problem. I think maybe they need more workers.”

CBS 17 asked Scott if the Durham Housing Authority needs more workers to address the backlog of work orders, but has not yet heard back.

The latest data from the Durham Housing Authority showed they had a backlog of 1,423 work orders at the end of May.

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