Authorities Spent On Trips And Bonuses As Family Housing Units Languished In Cairo

November 05, 2015
 
Gates outside of historic downtown Cairo, Illinois

Hundreds of people in Cairo rely on public housing for shelter, with the average income among Alexander County Housing Authority residents just $8,655 a year.

Paul Sableman/WUIS

Housing authorities spent on pricey dinners at training junkets and retirement bonuses for employees while public housing complexes in the state’s poorest county fell into serious disrepair.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Mike Bost are urging the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate and follow up on its review of allegations that Alexander County Housing Authority management misspent money on employees while housing developments fell into disrepair.

Last month, a federal inspector general demanded that the Alexander County Housing Authority turn over documents a subpoena said could be part of an ongoing investigation. 

Hundreds of people in Cairo rely on public housing for shelter, with the average income among Alexander County Housing Authority residents just $8,655 a year, the majority of them raising children and nearly half as single mothers.

More than half of the county’s children live in poverty, and nearly a third are considered food insecure – meaning they don’t always know from where their next meal is coming.

A series of articles from The Southern Illinoisan helped expose problems at the Alexander County Housing Authority.

Illinois Public Radio’s Jamey Dunn talked with Southern Illinoisan reporter Molly Parker from the paper’s newsroom.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio