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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — What would you do if a tree limb fell on your roof, and blocked the front door of your house? Residents of Wilmington’s Vesta Village community tried to get help with the clean-up, but they claim the Wilmington Housing Authority did more harm than good.

Residents say they may not have much, but they take pride in what they do have, especially their homes.

After a June 8 thunderstorm dropped a limb on a home, many residents called the WHA to come clean it up.

A resident who asked that we not put her on camera for fear of retaliation described the scene.

“Emergency maintenance came out and broke a limb for me to walk out of my front door,” she said. “When they broke it off they told me they would be back, because they had to get a contractor to do it, and I’m still waiting on the contractor to come.”

For close to two weeks, residents have been forced to walk around and even climb through the tree while trying to get in and out of their home. After contacting the Wilmington Housing Authority to try and get the situation cleaned up, they were shocked at the Housing Authority’s response.

“Housing came out here, and instead of cleaning up the tree, they busted down the basketball goal,” neighbor Terry Faulk said.

Since there are no swing sets or other play places inside of Vesta Village, residents pooled their money to purchase a basketball goal for the kids. That investment in the community was shattered when residents claim WHA workers sheered the bolts on the goal sending it crashing to the ground and shattering the backboard and the spirit on looking kids.

“It’s breaking the kids’ spirit,” Faulk said. “Look at all of the kids that are standing around. This is what they love doing and how they get along. Here we are trying to stop crime and everything and you come and take the one thing that the kids have to play with, the basketball goal, and instead of removing the tree that’s a hazard to the whole community.”

A spokesman for the Wilmington Housing Authority says that the basketball goal was taken down because it opened the organization up to a liability lawsuit.

He said contractors will remove the fallen tree tomorrow.

Comment on this Story

  • Everyone’s caught up on the basketball hoop, but what about the tree?

  • Guest-o-matic

    I can sling it back, so here you go:
    If the “folks” want to do something “good for their kids”, they can start by teaching them to better themselves instead of teaching them to perpetuate and learn to live off the government dole. Teach them that getting an education is a sure fire way out of the projects, not selling drugs, not prostitution and not robbery. The means are there for everyone to get an education these days, but it takes personal motivation. Teach them that “breaking the cycle” of poverty prevails over being lazy and not taking personal responsibility. Blaming their life situation on others is a cop-out and an excuse to be lazy.

    Now, if this comment gets read and if it gets understood and if those “folks” practice this, just imagine all of the “good” that will come to the chirrens!

    Is that little bell beginning to ring for ya yet?

  • Guest8834

    You live in government housing. You expect the government to maintain the property, because it is their property. So when they come around and tear up your basketball goal, that you put on someone elses property, how can you complain? if you had your own property this surely wouldn’t have happened. living in government housing isn’t ideal, nor should it be. and no, it’s not the kids fault, and im sure they are very upset. maybe this will be something they remember when they are older and serve as encouragement to work hard and buy their own apartment or house one day. last i checked, there are city basketball courts and pools that we the tax payers pay for.

    my big question is why did no one in this community try to begin removing the tree limb, instead of just letting it sit there for weeks. maybe they didn’t have the equipment, but surely someone in the community knows someone they can call, a friend or family member. i’m sure enough people in the community could have gotten together and moved the tree together, a little team work and bonding time. thats what the basketball goal was for wasn’t it?

    the government doesn’t fix your problems, that’s not what the type of government our constitution created…

  • GuestMan.

    Not at the racist, semi-racist and code words that are being used in these postings. The folks were trying to do something good for their kids and all you people want to do is post comments that do no one any good. You guys beat everything, you know that?

  • tweety11

    You republicans are special…….

  • Wilmington PD

    It was probably stolen anyway, so the crooks loose again. Strike one up for the Boys in the Hood!!

  • Nobama

    Pool your money and go and buy yourself a saw. You would still have your basketball goal and would have freed yourselves from the slavery of government dependence. At least slightly.

  • Bart Simpson

    It is obvious on the close up shots on the video the basketball hoop system was is very poor condition and outlived its usefulness very long ago. The story said it was bought last year which is obviously not true by its appearance. Free food, housing, cell phone and now the entitlement crowd wants free hoops.

  • Alex

    Funny how WHA took the time to destroy a basketball goal that kids use regularly…is this what tax payers get??? Do your job and get contractors out there ASAP. How convenient that WHA is saying the debris will be removed AFTER media coverage. Regardless of what anyone says about this area why are kids being the victim on this…Maybe the goal shouldn’t be there for liability but there was no immediate reason or danger that would have led a reasonable person to destroy their only basketball goal. If need be then notify the residents and move it, after all the reason they install wheels on the bottom of those goals is for that purpose. Some of these “hood” areas that people label them as don’t have nearly any resources for children and teens when you compare them to other communities. This goal can help kids out in the present and future but now its only in the past. No sign of compassion from WHA in this instance. The goal needs to be replaced and those kids need an apology.

  • sailboat2323

    You libatards are useless sponges.

  • BitterEXdemocrackkk

    HUD Housing projects blight MANY towns and cities in NC! Asheville has
    14 public housing projects which blights most every intown neighborhood, except near the Grove Park Inn and Biltmore Forest! That’s MORE public housing per capita than any other city in NC, even Durham! We live
    a block over from public housing and must endure all the crap that goes with being that close. Thankfully, crime is way down, but summertime brings out the leftover THUGS. There are 4th and 5th generations of public housing dwellers that have no goals of bettering their living.
    They are completely content on the government plantation, and soak up every benefit and handout that comes along.

    Housing project staffs make BIG MONEY managing these hellholes and they waste money like you wouldn’t believe. WHEN will cities begin to abolish public housing? It’s NOT a function of OUR government!

  • GuestMan.

    Who’s slinging mud? I’m just telling the truth.
    Your post sounds like you are making the assumption that because you live in the projects you either deal drugs, are a prostitute, or an armed robber. The kids the basketball goal was for, I assume, looking at the clip are elementary students; a little young to be any of the people you described.
    I know some people that live in the projects that work hard, but, because of lack of education or other reasons find it hard to get ahead. I also know people that were raised in the projects that have done really well for themselves.
    By the way, “folks” in the context you use it is a code word. “Chirrens” is just plain, down-right racist.
    Go ring your own bell, Klucker.

  • tweety11

    All of that because children like to play basketball.They are lazy,live in poverty?So ypu are saying only children that have less than your children like to play basketball?Only you and your bff.

  • tweety11

    You totally missed the boat.

  • Guest2013

    But it was most likely stolen. The truth hurts, even for Dem’s and Liberals….

  • Stop whining and get a job!!!!

  • SurfCityTom

    a couple of raises. Even got one the year of his DUI.

    I’m guessing $120,000 now. Could be off a bit.

  • Guest350

    What could be worse than a basketball goal down in the ‘hood? As for services from the city, you get what you pay for.

  • Guest0101

    And what they pay for are basketball goals and that is pretty much it

  • Catherine Jackson

    If you are so worried about liability, why is the fallen tree still in the way?
    How dare you destroy someone else’s personal property.

  • windy

    It’s always been my understanding that one should not leave their personal possession on public property and expect it to remain there. How is this situation any different? WHA owned the property. The basketball goal was not something provided by the WHA. They saw obvious risks (i.e., injury, gang congregation, violence/fights, whatever else occurs on public basketball courts in the hood) and removed the goal. They were within their rights, were they not? Funny how not a single resident complained about not being able to get to work because of the tree blocking their exit from the building. Their only concern appears to be about the basketball goal.

  • Ken

    Have you at the Wilmington Housing Authority ever herd of signs that read, “PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK” or “SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK”?

    Do your job and clean up the tree. Why do you have employees if they can only do part of the work anyway. Hire people that can do the entire job and cut the contractors loose.

  • Wilmington Observer

    This is a, perfect,example of “Government at its Best”. They did not have the tools, manpower, willpower, etc, etc, to remove the tree but they had no problems removing the one, privately funded, item that they could locate.

    Wilmington Observer

  • SurfCityTom

    a quasi government agency.

    They’re lucky a roof was not removed or a building demolished.

    I have said it before. Given the salaries paid to WHA Staff, including the Executive Director, better service and communication should be forthcoming.

  • Vog46

    UPS guy making a delivery gets struck by the limb as it breaks off and falls on his head.
    WHA owns the property so the guy files a lawsuit and wins damages of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    This why we have homeowners insurance including liability coverage.
    As much as I dislike the entitlement crowd in THIS case the WHA should have acted quickly to remove the tree and reduce THEIR liability. If they can’t do it then hire a contractor just like we would.
    The property owner is not necessarily the resident and for regular apartment dwellers stuff like this is handled by the property owners all the time. This is no different.
    As for the basketball goal?
    A simple question to WHA would have solved that.
    “Can we install at no cost to you a basketball goal?”
    “Yes” or “no” is the simple answer.
    Without asking first, WHA has the right to remove it.

    I haven’t looked in awhile – just what is the salary?


  • droppy

    Those living in WHA housing, courtesy of the tax-payers, have always had a sense of self-entitlement; however, to feel so entitled as to erect a basketball goal on land that does not belong to them, apparently without so much as seeking WHA permission, and then cry sour grapes when it is torn down, is a bit over the top, not to mention that it is a slap in the face to every tax payer out there. If those people have funds to “pool together” to buy unnecessary things like basketball goals, then perhaps their qualifications for public housing assistance should be more closely scrutinized. Not to mention that their children should be focusing on their studies and becoming productive members of society, not milling around the community unsupervised, playing basketball and doing who knows what.

  • Guesttseug

    Residents were forced to walk around this for two weeks to get to their apartment. No one in that neighborhood has a saw or a pair of pruners to trim back the problem area until a permanent fix can be effected? When ya won’t even lift a hand to help yerself you deserve the the “we are from the government and we are here to help” excuse.

  • Yiff

    What a bogus response “liability”. You leave a larger tree branch blocking access and potentially causing injury yet you tear down a recreational outlet paid for by neighbors. Someone in charge needs a chewing out, to apologize face to face to the community and install a new goal period. End of conversation. I will followup on this. Have a nice day WHA :)

  • Hey Yiff…you should run for office. You have the same mentality as the fool who calls himself president.

  • John

    “Residents say they may not have much, but they take pride in what they do have, especially their homes” When a storm affects my property that I own and still make payments on I go outside and take care of and cleanup the area myself. The city nor the county will come to my house and clean the area for me and I do not think they should. Please take the time to visit public housing and be sure to go during night time hours to get the full affect about ‘PRIDE’ in one’s neighborhood. The city would have to obtain insurance coverage and hire full time tree cutters which we do not require full time today so we CONTRACT and that take time to reach the affected area. Folks need to depend on themselves and each other and stop depending on the Government to hand you money, a place to live, vouchers for food, subsidized medical and utilizes.


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