Illinois' senior U.S. senator is trying to help dozens of families in the state's southernmost town.
Dick Durbin traveled to Cairo Friday to see what can be done to find subsidized housing for the nearly 200 families who are losing their homes after HUD soon closes two public housing complexes.
"Building new housing, building new public housing, is a long-term commitment. We need to find housing now available that can be brought up to standards so it's decent, safe and affordable and they can be part of the Section 8 program."
HUD officials say there aren't currently enough available housing units in Cairo to accommodate all the families losing their units.
Durbin says something must be done quickly.
"To see if there is a way to find homes in the area that can qualify for what we call Section 8, subsidized rent. So they can move out of these miserable places where the kids are and where the families are into something that's a decent home."
HUD assumed control of the Alexander County Housing Authority in February of 2016 due to what it called years of mismanagement by the local board.