Published: Jun 20, 2010 02:00 AM
Modified: Jun 20, 2010 03:38 PM
Durham's 10-Year Plan for ending chronic homelessness, it appears, is going under new management.
Since implementing the plan in 2007, the city and county have paid the nonprofit Durham Affordable Housing Coalition to oversee it. That contract expires this month and officials agreed last week to investigate moving the job into the city's community-development office this fall.
Coalition director Anita Oldham said the prospect was "frustrating."
"I think we've made great strides," she said. "It's like we were just getting rolling and now they take it away."
An ad-hoc committee drew up the "10 Year Results Plan to End Homelessness in Durham" in 2005 and the City Council and county Board of Commissioners adopted it in 2006. But since early 2009, elected leaders have grown increasingly frustrated over a lack of results.
"We just need some accountability," said County Commissioner Becky Heron. "What are they doing? What have they accomplished?"
A report by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found the plan suffered from lack of leadership, schedules, and clarity on which of more than 50 participating agencies is responsible for doing what.
County Manager Mike Ruffin recommended against renewing the coalition's contract.
"Everyone sort of needs to take a step back and take a look at how well it's working, how well it's not working, reconstitute it," he said.
The proposal for moving the 10-Year Plan under City Hall's wing came out of a meeting of Ruffin, City Manager Tom Bonfield, Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden and County Commissioners Chairman Michael Page.
The two local governments did agree to extend the coalition's contract until Oct. 1. Bonfield said he needs to know just what taking it over would require from the city and he was pleased to leave things as they are for another 90 days.
"That gives us a little breathing room to study this thing," he said.