Local response mixed to HUD takeover of Alexander County Housing Authority

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development took over the Alexander County, Illinois, Housing Authority Monday morning after what HUD called years financial and operational mismanagement, poor housing conditions, and accusations of civil rights violations.

I Spoke to a number of tenants off camera who had mixed emotions. On one hand they hate to lose local control of their housing, but they hope that HUD can deliver the funding needed to clean up their community from trash and improve their living situation.

As recently as Friday, Alexander County Housing Authority Chairman Andy Clarke says he was told the authority was on the right track. "HUD placed us under receivership and they will contract out, hopefully not to the lowest bidder, someone who is designed to do nothing but draw profits for their corporation," he said. 

Clarke resigned after he found out about the takeover, but Cairo Mayor Tyrone Coleman praised the move.

"It’s for the best for the residents who live in such horrific conditions," Coleman said. 

While both sides agree they hate to lose local control, their reasons why are much different.

"It’s been a proven fact that the local bureaucracy hasn’t done what they were established to do, so it’s come to this point." Coleman said

"When you go into receivership, we’re going to be in the same deal as East St. Louis. Once you get into a federal system most likely we’ll never come back out again." Clark said. 

Related Articles