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Carbon Monoxide Problem Drives Durham Public Housing Residents Out Of Their Homes

Jason DeBruyn
McDougald Terrace residents showed up in full force at the Durham City Council meeting on Monday night.

200 families living in the McDougald Terrace public housing complex in Durham have been temporarily moved into hotels because of ongoing problems with carbon monoxide. The Durham Housing Authority put in place a voluntary evacuation order Friday as it conducts testing at the units. 

More than a dozen residents have been hospitalized with elevated carbon monoxide levels. This is the latest incident in an ongoing affordable housing crisis hitting some of North Carolina’s largest cities. DHA Chief Executive Anthony Scott says their Durham properties are in bad shape — and that is a result of decades of dwindling funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

WUNC reporter Jason DeBruyn joins host Frank Stasio to put the story in context and share his reporting on the response from both residents and local public officials.

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Jason deBruyn is WUNC's Supervising Editor for Digital News, a position he took in 2024. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016 as a reporter.