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City leaders meet with HUD representatives to discuss the WHA housing issues

Some progress made by leaders meeting with HUD representatives
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 11:26 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington City Council leaders met with representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday to discuss the issue of Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) residents displaced by mold issues.

The meeting is a follow up to Mayor Bill Saffo, Council member Clifford Barnett and Council member Luke Waddell’s visit to Washington D.C. last week to request funding to complete repairs at the houses, fit them out, and get the 150 families, including more than 300 children, back into their homes.

Saffo, New Hanover County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman, and leaders from WHA met with representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Greensboro office to further discuss the problems caused by the mold crisis.

Today’s meeting brought some good news from the HUD representatives who agreed to increase Section 8 rental assistance subsidies to 120% to take the burden off people looking for housing.

Also, Saffo said some apartment owners have pledged units with one-year leases for displaced residents in the interim period.

Although $13 million will address immediate needs, the WHA said the total cost to repair the units damaged by mold is closer to $32 million. Saffo said they haven’t secured the funding yet; however, a request has been made and it will take time for HUD to source the funding. Meanwhile, time is dragging on for displaced residents.

“That’s the last place I want them to be. That’s the last place we want them all to be. And we’re all working as diligently as possible, and hopefully we’ve relayed that message to Washington, and to HUD in Greensboro — how critical the situation is.”

HUD will be in Wilmington for the next few days to assess damage the mold has caused to these properties.

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