Wilmington Housing Authority updates commissioners on displaced residents

Wilmington Housing Authority updates commissioners on displaced residents
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 12:28 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Commissioners heard from the Wilmington Housing Authority about progress made to move people back into homes that were previously infested with mold.

Wilmington Housing Authority Executive Director Tyrone Garrett asked to meet with commissioners himself rather than wait for them to ask for an update.

“I’m trying to ensure everyone that we have the capacity to do good work as a governmental organization and as a pillar within the community,” Garrett said. “I thought it was incumbent of us to come to them versus being summoned to the principal’s office.”

When he joined WHA back in May, Garrett says 150 residents had been displaced from their homes. Since then, that number has dropped to 104 as more homes are restored. Garrett says $300,000 in city and county investments have already been used to bring many units back online. He expects the rest to be move-in ready by the end of the year.

“The fact that he wants to come forward to us and to the city and say ‘here’s the money that you invested in us, here’s where it’s going, here’s how it’s being tracked and here’s the difference you’re making as a local government that’s in support of the Wilmington Housing Authority,’ that’s first-rate,” said Commissioner Rob Zapple.

Another update he offered was the launch of a voucher program to help furnish homes. WHA first announced plans for that program at the end of August. Since then, several families have taken advantage of the opportunity to make their homes their own as they move back in.

“It’s been a very productive effort,” said Garrett. “They’ve elected to either use a voucher for a furniture store or utilize the cash to go out and buy their own belongings. I think that’s worked out pretty well because that’s the one obstacle that was preventing many families from moving from their hotel back to their particular units.”