“Operation Going Home” aims to help families displaced by mold issues

"Operation Going Home means families displaced by mold issues will be able to go home soon
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 12:04 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - More help could soon be on the way for more than a hundred families displaced by mold remediation and reconstruction in Wilmington.

“If they can’t live in their apartment, there are some families who are doubling up with family, most are in hotels, and while we’re very grateful for businesses who are making that possible, that’s not a place to raise a family,” said Derek Macleod, Executive Director of the New Hanover Disaster Coalition.

A new initiative called “Operation Going Home” is a joint effort by the New Hanover Disaster Coalition and Wilmington Housing Authority to support 140 families that are waiting for their homes to be repaired after mold contamination.

“We are literally buying beds for children to have a place to sleep at night and this is with bedding and with furniture,” Macleod said. “This is to help families get started up again because some families lost everything due to mold contamination.”

Recent reporting uncovered serious issues with management at the Wilmington Housing Authority. Displaced families are concerned by how long it has taken to get back into their homes while they wait for repairs.

“The purpose of this money (donations) is to help residents get settled in their new units. WHA, along with these community partners, are working diligently to assist them when they are returned to a repaired unit,” a WHA spokesperson said. “The money to repair units comes from HUD capital funds, and we are working diligently to secure additional funds. These costs to remediate and repair units and associated costs to temporarily house displaced families and supply per diem payments is beyond the scope of what these donations are meant to or able to cover.”

[WHAT’S NEXT?: Housing authority is plagued by mold complaints from residents and has lost its leaders. What can be done to fix the mess?]

“Operation Going Home” asks for donations from residents and local organizations to help the NHDC provide beds, sheets, clothes, and other essential items to affected families.

Macleod says there is a focus on families with young children. The group plans to buy gas cards and find safe transportation options for kids to get to school.

For more information on how you can make a contribution, click here.

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