Neighbors say affordable housing complex in Durham is unsafe and filthy

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- JFK Towers is a low-income Section 8 community that nearly 200 older residents in North Durham call home.

But behind JFK's walls, some neighbors told ABC11 that it is an unsafe, filthy mess.

"Makes me feel like I'm in a third-world country," Clayton Meador said. "This don't feel like America at all."

Meador's neighbors snapped images of a broken elevator sign, leaking air-conditioning units that have left their floors stained and wet, as well as dumpsters and trash chutes overflowing with garbage that some tenants said is attracting insects and rodents.

"My mom was awakened with bites on her arms," Zara Dozier, who lives at JFK, told ABC11.

Dozier said her mother has been living with her since April because of bed bugs.

"She said she didn't know what was happening," Dozier said. "Where they were coming from."

Some neighbors told ABC11 off camera that the property management firm, Millennia Companies, is addressing these issues.

ABC11 contacted Millennia's office, and the company said that starting Monday, "a new vendor will begin routine pest control on a quarterly basis or as needed."

Millennia said it will also schedule K-9s to find rodents. As for the leaky AC units, the company said, "We addressed the leaks until a solution was found."

According to Millennia, it began managing JFK Towers in January, with plans to acquire the community from its current owner, Global Ministries Foundation.

Federal officials told ABC11 that GMF has failed to properly invest in and update its properties to meet HUD standards.

Millennia said once it owns JFK, it plans to update and revitalize the property.

"I can wait it out. I guess," said Meador, who moved to JFK last year.

Millennia did not give ABC11 a timetable on when it will take ownership or what the renovations will look like.

As for the broken elevator and overflowing trash, Millennia said the building has four elevators and hasn't verified whether one is out of service.

The company said trash is collected several times a week.
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