ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth met with Cairo Mayor Thomas Simpson to discuss how they can work together to help the families of Cairo.

Duckworth says she also toured the demolition sites of the Elmwood and McBride housing complexes.

Since 2017, Duckworth says she has worked to address the challenges people face with the ACHA and hold those responsible for the crisis accountable, to fix the Cairo economy.

Duckworth has visited Cairo several times, she says she secured a commitment for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carson to visit and hear firsthand from people to bring the community’s needs to his attention during meetings and calls.

Duckworth says she put a hold on HUD nominees after the agency didn’t respond to her request for more information on the decision to shutter two additional ACHA facilities.

This week, Duckworth says she introduced the Get the Lead out of Assisted Housing Act of 2019 to help protect families from lead exposure. The legislation says it would require HUD to check for lead service lines, create a grant program to address lead contamination, and allow a cross-check for lead in water when restoring a home with lead found in the paint.

Duckworth says she wrote the the Creating American Investment, Redevelopment, and Opportunity (CAIRO) Task Force Act to make a cabinet-level task force for housing, health, and economic crises in Cairo. The CAIRO Act recognizes the role HUD had in Cairo’s economic decline and says the federal government should play an active role in its recover and revival. The Act requires the task force to submit a report the Congress within six months of its establishment and each year after.

The senator says she talked with HUD Inspector General Nominee Rae Oliver Davis last July about housing priorities and crisis prevention. She says last year she wrote multiple letters to the HUD Inspector General about completing its investigation by Alexander County Housing Authority officials.