Changes could be coming to property owned by Wilmington Housing - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Changes could be coming to property owned by Wilmington Housing Authority

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Officials are proposing a curfew, which would force younger people to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or be inside during late night hours. Officials are proposing a curfew, which would force younger people to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or be inside during late night hours.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - In the wake of what police are calling an increase of gang violence in Wilmington, the city's housing authority is taking action.

The group is proposing changes on its properties to help keep folks living there safe.

If officials with the Wilmington Housing Authority have their way, you won't see anyone under the age of 18 walking around unattended, at night, at apartments the housing authority owns.

Officials are proposing a curfew, which would force younger people to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or be inside during late night hours.

"We're looking at making sure families know where their children are and in units just to keep them safe. A lot of the activity that happens on our sites are not by people who live on the sites. We really want to help keep them safe from  the community around them," said Rhonda Mack, deputy director of the housing authority.

Other proposed changes include a parking permit policy and limiting the number of guests.

"So far we have gotten no negative feedback. They're really excited about this and feel this is a positive step in helping keep them safe," added Mack. 

But there's one possible change officials with the housing authority calls controversial and they know will be hard to enforce. They would like to ban smoking in apartments owned by the authority.

"I think most residents feel it's an infringement on their rights. It's something HUD is promoting. I think it makes a lot of sense. We have to maintain the units. We had a resident die in a fire a couple of years ago from smoking. We're just trying to create the safest, healthiest environment we can for our residents," said Michael Krause, CEO of the housing authority.

According to Krause they're also proposing people who make more than 80% of the area median income, for more than a six month period, will no longer be eligible for the Public Housing Program.

Krause says, a special report WECT did helped them consider the proposed change. In the report we discovered many people living in public housing were making $30,000 annually. That's more than most people on a waiting list. The report also revealed a family living in Jervay Place was making $83,000 a year.

Wilmington Housing Authority board members will discuss the changes at their meeting this month and next month. If approved, most of the proposals will go into effect by the end of the year.

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