Durham Housing Authority says voucher delays due to staffing issues: 'My mom is suffering'

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Saturday, March 9, 2024
Durham's woman's voucher delays blamed on staffing
A Durham mom and daughter were frustrated over a lack of response from the Durham Housing Authority until they called ABC11 Troubleshooter.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Durham mom and daughter are frustrated over a lack of response from the Durham Housing Authority.

For several months they say they've tried to get this worked out with the DHA, but their patience wore out.

"The housing authority is failing us," April said.

This after April's mom, Brita Betsey has been trying to get DHA to change her Section 8 voucher from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor.

"My mom is suffering going up and down these stairs."

Currently, her mom only has a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor, but her doctor put in writing due to her age and declining health Brita needs a full-time caregiver and an apartment on the first floor. Brita says she first called her DHA representative to try and get her voucher upgraded.

"He was supposed to get back to me. He has not got back to me yet. I called back. He has never returned my call." April says she had the same problem with no one returning her call, so she went to DHA's office.

"When you go into the lobby, they told us you have walk-ins on Mondays, and Wednesdays when we went down there on a Monday, the person that we were supposed to talk to, they told us that she's not there," April adds. April says she finally got a supervisor and was able to turn in this paperwork to DHA in September.

However, a few weeks later April says, "They tell us, well, we have no record of your mom's paperwork even being here." She turned in all the paperwork again in October and DHA time-stamped it, but months later still no answer. Brita says, "Something should be done about this. You know, everybody does not have a daughter that can help them. What about the senior citizens who have no help at all?"

April got in touch with ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson who reached out to the Durham Housing Authority and got results.

April now has a voucher for a two-bedroom apartment. A representative from DHA added, "We apologize for the inconvenience and delay as our Housing Choice Voucher Department has been severely understaffed. We will continue to make efforts to improve communication as we continuously combat staffing issues."

Brita and April are now working with her current housing complex to get moved into a two-bedroom ground-level apartment.