Durham Families Displaced Over Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Jan 8, 2020

Durham families have been moved from McDougald Terrace public housing after carbon monoxide leaks. Google maps imaged captured in 2017.
Credit Google Maps

The Durham Housing Authority confirmed 200 families are now staying in hotels while the agency inspects a public housing development for carbon monoxide.

Some residents of McDougald Terrace started evacuating voluntarily nearly two weeks ago when crews found elevated levels in some apartments. Durham Housing Authority CEO Anthony Scott said appliances needed to be replaced in 40% of the most recently inspected units.

"Our properties are in bad shape," said Scott. "We have been talking about, for years, that our public housing communities — and this is not unique to Durham, but across the country — our public housing communities have suffered years and years, and decades and decades of underfunding."

For McDougald Terrace residents like Shaunkyra Douglas, the fear over carbon monoxide levels is affecting daily life and their mental health.

"I have been scared to go to sleep. I am scared to put my kids down for a nap," said Douglas.

The Durham Housing Authority gets money from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. A HUD spokesman says the agency is working closely with the Durham Housing Authority, but did not comment on funding.

Jason deBruyn contributed to this report.