'It should be safer': McDougald Terrace plan transforms Durham community to mixed-income housing

Akilah Davis Image
Friday, February 24, 2023
'Should be safer': The proposed transformation of McDougald Terrace
The Durham Housing Authority is reimagining how affordable housing would look in McDougald Terrace.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham Housing Authority is reimagining how affordable housing would look in McDougald Terrace. It is waiting to hear back from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to sign off on a plan to redevelop the housing community.

"I'm thankful they're trying to get some changes going on in this community," said resident Ashanti Jackson, 20.

She has lived in McDougald Terrace all her life. While she's heard of the proposed redevelopment plan, she hadn't seen it until ABC11 showed her the renderings.

"It looks great. I'm ready. I'm ready," she said. "I hope I'm able to stay out here still."

According to the Durham Housing Authority, McDougald Terrace was built in 1953. It has 342 units with a current population of 284 families. The median annual household income is $3,768.

"Our plans are to raze all those units and rebuild, plus looking at other creative units around McDougald Terrace including Lincoln apartments. We'd probably end up with 600 units on the site," said Durham Housing Authority CEO Anthony Scott.

ALSO SEE: How decades of underfunding led to McDougald Terrace's carbon monoxide crisis

The proposal will cost millions to transform the community into a mixed-income community of affordable, public, and market-rate housing. Scott said families will be relocated to another DHA-owned property and their moving expenses will be covered.

It could take years to develop in different phases.

"We are not going to reduce the number of units we have currently. We will make sure whatever we tear down we will replace," Scott said. "When we are doing this work, families will have an opportunity to come back if they choose to."

Community meetings have been ongoing since September. Bull City leaders say this redevelopment plan will advance equity in this community.

"One, the people there get to stay there, but they also get to stay there with quality stuff their tax dollars have supported for other people for generations while it was denied to them," said Durham Mayor Pro-Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton.

He is referencing people like Jackson and her family who are now hopeful of what the future here could bring.

"It should be safer. I feel like it's going be safer because of the complex and how it looks," said Jackson.