Even with good intentions, sometimes things just don't work out. Take the case of our Bull City and Rebuild Durham Inc.
Make that the $909,700 case of a nonprofit developer, the latest development in which has the city sending $366,322.85 back to the feds.
There's probably more to come on this when the City Council gets together Thursday, but right now the story looks like this:
Since 2000, the city has loaned $810,000 and given $97,700 to Rebuild Durham, an agency established in 1999 to buy and rehabilitate run-down houses then rent them out at rates poor people could afford.
Plans were that Rebuild Durham would buy and fix up 27 houses by the end of 2003. When it got to be the end of 2008 and there were just 13 done, both the city and the federal Housing and Urban Development folks took notice and found some code violations, unkept records, a lot of money gone and loan repayments running behind.
City housing officials began talks with the Rebuild Durham Board. Talks have continued since then, with the city most recently encouraging Rebuild Durham to sell off what it has and pay up what it can. And just to show good faith (or something), earlier this year the city gave Rebuild Durham $8,000 more to keep it going while they talk – just in case there is some way for the city to recover the money it's sending back to Washington.