WHA Resolves to Remedy Maintenance Issues

WHA Resolves to Remedy Maintenance Issues

Wilmington Housing Authority in North Carolina could face consequences for maintenance problems at Creekwood South, according to a state agency that helped finance the community's $16 million overhaul.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency, which contributed low-income housing tax credits to rehabilitate Creekwood, recently conducted a routine inspection and found some units don't meet standards.

In response to the inspection and mounting criticism from residents, local housing leaders have pledged to correct maintenance problems at the community, which has also been plagued with violence in recent months.

A notice sent from the agency included six separate noncompliance issues, which ranged from broken furniture sitting in yards and on porches to bedbugs in an upstairs bedroom. Additionally, inspectors listed 18 other concerns, such as abandoned cars, debris in sewer drains, graffiti, and a broken window.

Because federal low-income housing tax credits were used to rehabilitate some of the Creekwood units, those units must meet certain physical conditions standards. The six noncompliance issues discovered in the inspection will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the notice.

In a Nov. 1 written response to the finance agency, the housing authority's interim CEO said the organization is making "every effort" to improve both the management and safety at Creekwood.

Across the authority, property managers and maintenance staff have been transferred. Creekwood has a new property manager and now three maintenance workers instead of two. And a tax credit adviser has trained management and maintenance staff, a training that will be repeated in the coming weeks for all staff members.

Aside from the staffing changes, other changes have been made to address specific problems. Before, a dump truck picked up broken furniture on a rotating schedule. Now, it visits every WHA site daily on weekdays. The lawn maintenance contract has been rewritten to include trash pickup. A new parking policy will address the abandoned vehicles, which will be towed in the future.