HUD Secretary Ben Carson Offers to "Salvage the Situation" in Cairo, Illinois

Aug 8, 2017

Credit Matt Markgraf / WKMS

U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson is expected to visit a far southern Illinois community where two public housing complexes are being torn down, forcing hundreds of residents to find new homes. 

Carson told The Southern Illinoisan he wants to visit Cairo to see if anything can be done to "salvage the situation." The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered the buildings demolished earlier this year due to "deplorable living conditions."

HUD says the buildings are infested with rodents and bugs and plumbing and heat don't work properly. About 200 families have been forced to relocate.

That's particularly difficult in the town of about 2,600 residents in a rural area and has prompted fears the once-thriving city could be endangered if hundreds of people move elsewhere.