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U.S. Rep. Bost Demands Action on Alexander Co. Housing Crisis

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Illinois) talks about his amendment involving public housing tenants on the House floor.

A southern Illinois congressman wants to help ease the transition of Cairo residents and other Americans who have been displaced from a public housing authority to a new location.
The U.S. House approved an amendment to the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act introduced by Murphysboro Republican Mike Bost. It ensures the law includes people qualified for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program who have been displaced or relocated from a public housing authority.

Bost says we must work to help those who have been relocated through no fault of their own.
"My amendment would require the state application include plans to help these families transition to their new communities and find work. This will be an important step forward for Americans already fighting to stay on their feet."

Bost also led a push in Congress for answers regarding alleged corruption at the Alexander County Housing Authority.

He says the housing authority's senior staff received excessive pay, large pension payouts and major consulting contracts while many public housing units were characterized as dangerous or unlivable.
"This situation is so bad that the worst housing units in Cairo are being destroyed and families are being required to move."
Bost says he is calling on state and federal authorities to prosecute housing authority members who abused the system.
"And that they're put in situations where they are in prison, because there they'll receive better housing conditions than what they left these people with."

HUD announced in April that it was closing the Alexander County Housing Authority's two largest family developments, displacing around 200 families.