Illinois' two U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to redirect federal resources to public housing residents and communities that have been the victims of fraud, like in Cairo.
The new Fairness for Housing Communities Act would direct certain public housing-related funds collected under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act into a Fraud Compensation Fund at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Currently, any funds collected go to the U.S. Treasury, rather than affected communities.
This legislation comes as former Alexander County Housing Authority executives have been ordered to pay more than 500-thousand dollars for penalties committed during their tenure.
Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth had previously written a measure to form a Cabinet-level task force to address the housing, health and economic crises in Cairo.
She introduced The Creating American Investment, Redevelopment, and Opportunity - or CAIRO - Task Force Act along with Senator Dick Durbin.
The CAIRO Act acknowledges HUD had a role in Cairo's economic decline, so the federal government should play an active role in its recovery and revival. The legislation requires the task force submit a report to Congress to outline its progress each year.