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

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Jason DeBruyn
/
WUNC
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 grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
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 the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.