Frustrated McDougald Terrace residents show up to first DHA meeting since evacuations

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Families are still frustrated about the ongoing problems in the McDougald Terrace public housing community.

Some of them make their way inside the first board meeting Wednesday night of the Durham Housing Authority since evacuations began in early January.

"My thing is that I don't feel safe or comfortable going to McDougald Terrace," said Larry Hana. "Everything I own is in my apartment. I'm a senior citizen and I can't afford to lose what I have over there."

Nearly 280 families are displaced. This week they found out they'll be spending at least the next two to three weeks in hotels as repairs continue. In total, DHA said 900 people are living in 16 hotels across Durham.

RELATED: DHA hopes to have McDougald Terrace residents home mid-February

"It's hard to cook because there's no ventilation in the hotel I live in which is the same problem I have in my house," said Brittany Bass. "I don't consider it home. I don't feel safe. I went back to get clothes and other sentimental values and papers like that. I just haven't been able to stay in the apartment and think it's home."

CEO Anthony Scott said work is continuing on the complex. Contractors are busy switching stoves from gas to electric and replacing venting systems for hot water heaters to name a few.

"We let them know that with the elections coming up, somebody has got to do something. Our voices matter," said Brittany, who said she's tired of the hotel room she shares with her son Aubrey and daughter Adoura. "There are different types of people staying in hotels: it's not just us so we can't have that freedom to just go to the bathroom or go check the mailbox or go sit on the porch."
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