Friday, July 19, 2024

Community drive to take place for displaced WHA residents

Many WHA properties have extensive mold damage, which has left over 150 families displaced. Local government and nonprofit entities are hosting a community drive to help replace families’ personal belongings that have been ruined by mold. (Courtesy Wilmington Housing Authority)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Local governments and nonprofits are joining forces to help residents who have been displaced from Wilmington Housing Authority properties.

Last fall, WHQR reported in its investigative series extensive issues the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) faces, including pervasive mold that spread throughout many of its properties — Creekwood, Woodbridge, Houston Moore, among others. In effect, it led to more than 150 families being displaced while the authority works toward remediating its housing units.

Problems date back to at least 2018’s Hurricane Florence, according to the NPR affiliate, when some residents began complaining about the mold. The authority took action last year and moved its tenants into hotels or corporate apartments in the interim. Many of the renters’ belongings were stored in PODS in the front of apartment buildings or in facilities without climate control, wherein mold continued to grow during the summer heat.

“As we work diligently to return these families in our community to permanent homes, we are asking the community to help us provide them with needed furnishings to replace what was ruined by mold,” chief diversity and equity officer Linda Thompson said in a release the county sent out Friday.

New Hanover County, Wilmington Housing Authority, City of Wilmington, Good Shepherd Center, Leading into New Communities (LINC), and the Resiliency Task Force are hosting a community drive for the families, dubbed “Operation Going Home Again.”

Donations of new or gently used furniture and select household items can be dropped off at the old city fire station at 3933 Princess Place Dr.

Financial contributions can be made to the housing authority’s nonprofit here, which will go toward purchasing items for families in need.

“WHA says it’s hard to get an accurate figure — but total remediation costs could be in the millions,” WHQR reported in November. By December, the outlet estimated it was over an $8-million crisis, then affecting 111 residents. That number has since increased to over 150.

Donations of gently used or new items will be accepted on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Saturday, Mar. 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Additional dates and times will be determined in coming weeks and will be posted to

Gently used or new items accepted:

  • Sofas
  • Love seats
  • Coffee tables
  • End tables
  • Lamps
  • Arm chairs
  • Dining tables
  • Dining chairs
  • Bed frames
  • Nightstands
  • Dressers
  • Bookshelves
  • Dishes
  • Kitchen and cooking utensils
  • Cups and glasses
  • Mugs
  • Pots and pans
  • Baking sheets
  • Baking pans
  • Small appliances (coffee pots, microwaves, etc.)

New items accepted:

  • Pillows
  • Bedding (new sheets, comforters, blankets, etc. – all sizes)
  • Mattresses (all sizes)
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Toiletries
  • Paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.)

*Clothing, décor, rugs, electronics, large appliances and toys, along with furniture that is broken, torn, badly stained, has pet damage or smells unpleasant cannot be accepted.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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