The leader of Winston-Salem’s housing authority told the city council his agency is doing all it can to address ongoing maintenance issues at public housing complex Crystal Towers, amid criticism from residents and local housing advocates.

Housing Authority CEO Kevin Cheshire addressed a packed house in Winston-Salem’s council chambers Monday night.

“The building didn't get like this overnight, and it's not going to get fixed overnight," he said. "But we have a plan in place.”

Cheshire said supply chain issues and labor shortages have contributed to the delays. Contractors are set to replace one of the building’s notoriously unreliable elevators in November. 

His remarks came one hour after residents and housing advocates held a press conference criticizing Mayor Allen Joines for spending more money on upgrades at Truist Stadium while repairs at the complex remain unfinished. 

The council agreed to spend an additional $1.6 million on the stadium project at Monday’s meeting.  

Dan Rose with Housing Justice Now addressed council members after the vote.

“You could take that stadium and turn it into housing,” said Rose. “Do you ever think that? They've done it in other places.”

The council agreed last year to set aside $5 million to fund improvements to comply with new facility standards set by Major League Baseball. Since then, city staffers say estimated costs have risen due to inflation and design changes. 

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