by Matt Saldaña
The Durham Housing Authority, which has been deemed "troubled" by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has a $2.9 million surplus in its Section 8 voucher program, the Herald-Sun reports. According to the H-S, that surplus could have been used to grant housing vouchers to 358 Section 8 recipients this year alone. At a Durham City Council work session last week, DHA CEO Harrison Shannon announced that 1,500 Durham residents were on the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers, out of a total waiting list of 2,500. (Harrison said that 1,000 residents were on the waiting list for public housing.) At that session, James Whitcomb, Regional Director for HUD--which funds DHA--insisted that DHA’s handling of Section 8, not DHA itself, was troubled, and that the program was now “looking pretty good.”
As a result of the surplus--which DHA spokesperson Jean Bolduc attributed to "unexpected" federal funding, leading the local authority to be "swimming in money"--the H-S reports that HUD will cut funding to DHA's Section 8 program by $1.3 million next year.