Officials discuss affordable housing needs in Durham: 'Not enough'

Cindy Bae Image
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Officials discuss affordable housing needs in Durham: 'Not enough'
What does it take to fix the affordable housing crisis in Durham?

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As Durham city leaders work to meet affordable housing needs for residents such as Tony Morris McDonald, the 519 Main Street resident said it's not the new construction he's interested in but rather how the needs of children in communities like his are being met.

"I understand what you can do ... just don't sit around and say, OK, we'll do this and we'll do that," McDonald said. "Really, it's about the kids."

McDonald's concern comes as city leaders met with Housing and Urban Development Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Monocchio on Wednesday to discuss the affordable housing crisis with Bull City advocates and residents in a roundtable discussion after touring some of the Durham Housing Authority public housing sites.

"We know more money is needed for people we serve. There's a lot of need out there," Monocchio said.

From funding to partnerships, Monocchio said they're working closely on the federal level to come up with better resources, especially for children.

"You've got Head Start at some of the sites, you got community centers at some of the sites. But we need more of that right now," Monocchio said. "We need to invest in our young people."

Ashley Canady, who's the president of the McDougald Terrace public housing complex, said she sees more high rises being built than public housing downtown.

"I kind of feel like eventually they're going to push us out," Canady said.

She said partnership is important when it comes to her vision for children in affordable housing communities.

"That's the biggest thing," Canady said. "People who are going to be committed to our children in the community ... and not judge them. Someone who's willing to come out in the community that may have gun violence or may have issues ... and be willing to stay."