26 Feb 2013

People’s Durham: Giving residents a say in their destiny

Posted by dandydust

Recently People’s Durham has received a fair amount of press because of our work around the affordable housing crisis in Durham.  Below is an article that was published in the INDY Week when we received their 2013 Citizen’s Award.

2013 Citizen Award Winner: People's Durham, from left to right, Ray Eurquhart, Kaye S. Lee, Bonnie Toomer, Sendolo Diaminah, Elias Brangman, Bernadette Toomer, for working with  low-income residents living in Lincoln Apartments, Durham, Jan. 16, 2013.

2013 Citizen Award Winner: People’s Durham, from left to right, Ray Eurquhart, Kaye S. Lee, Bonnie Toomer, Sendolo Diaminah, Elias Brangman, Bernadette Toomer, for working with low-income residents living in Lincoln Apartments, Durham, Jan. 16, 2013.

By Vernal Coleman

Most of its windows are covered with plywood, its parking lots empty. At Lincoln Apartments, most of the 200 low-income families who lived here have left since October, when the foundation that owned the property told residents the upkeep was too expensive. They had to go.

About a dozen tenants remain, say officials from the Durham Housing Authority, which bought the complex in southeast-central Durham last month. They are still waiting for help in transitioning to affordable housing. And were it not for the organizers at People’s Durham, some residents say they would have been forced out weeks ago.

“I didn’t have anywhere to go,” says Barbara Garrett, who still lives at Lincoln, where, for the last five years, she has rented a two-bedroom unit for $340 a month. “We didn’t have any info on what we could do, and it didn’t seem like anyone from the government was going to help us. I could have been homeless.”

Read the rest of the article here

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