Cairo residents ask Jackson County Housing Authority for more time before move out of Smith building

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KBSI) – Residents of Cairo, Ill., joined together Wednesday at the Jackson County Housing Authority board meeting to request the board pause the voucher program given to them that ordered them to move from their homes last month.  

Men of Power-Women of Strength President Steven Tarver said the reasoning for the resident moving shouldn’t be a concern.  

“That last time, there were some instances in some situations that yes, we had some unsanitary housing that must be addressed; this time has brought us the concern something further than what we are concerned about,” said Tarver. 

The Cairo support turned out strong for the in-person meeting and support from home with a signed letter of support from residents of the Connell F. Smith building asking for more time. 

Men of Power-Women of Strength Vice President Marcella Woodson said they received 26 signatures. 

 “This was created today, we just felt they come into this meeting we needed to be a voice for the ones that are residents in that building that could not be here, so in addition to that again we’re begging for more time; there have been developers in other individuals coming in ready to make this happen, it is just a matter of coming together, collaborating the right ways, and taking action,” said Woodson.  

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) told the Cairo community members last month of relocating and the reason was the structural integrity and concerns of potential earthquakes.  

Cairo church Pastor Matthews questioned if HUD was actually helping the community.  

“Their mission statement is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Now I do not need to remind you all that HUD has not built anything in 40 or 50 years for anybody so I’m not sure they need to change their wording on their website because I have not created anything that we can say is sustainable and affordable,” Matthews.  

The Jackson Housing Authority, after the meeting, told the Cairo residents they accepted the relocation vouchers from HUD and it will be up to them to accept it. 

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