The Wilmington Housing Authority is cracking down on crime in public housing communities. At Monday's monthly board meeting, a UNCW graduate student is presenting a study on criminal activity in affordable housing. And the Authority is proposing sweeping policy changes in an effort to get public housing residents and their visitors off the streets late at night.
Proposed resolutions include an evening curfew, a cap on the number of guests residents can host and limiting the hours during which residents can use community spaces. Housing Authority CEO Michael Krause says this comes in response to a summer wrought with citywide criminal activity.
"We’ve seen shooting after shooting, violent crimes, more drug activity, and I think as an organization we’re just trying to take every measure that we can to reduce that. You know, imposing a curfew when there’s not a curfew citywide is tough for our residents to handle, but I think it’s the right thing for our communities."
Critics say these measures restrict basic rights, but Krause says the proposals have plenty of support within public housing communities.
"A majority of our residents have enthusiasm for it, because they want to live in safer environments. Most of the criminal activity that we see in our communities is not caused by our residents, contrary to popular belief. It’s really people coming in from the outside. "
Krause says the Authority consulted with the Wilmington Police Department to draft the proposed changes. If approved by the Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, they will go into effect in late September.