FBI Investigate Cairo Public Housing Conditions

(CAIRO, IL) — The FBI has stepped in as investigators continue to piece together what led to poor living conditions at county housing complexes in Cairo. Residents say gunshots are too recognizable of a noise, and unsanitary conditions are the norm. A 2014 federal report stated the problems traced back to illegal activity by people in charge of upkeep at the complexes, but who specifically is responsible is yet to be seen. Residents, and an FBI spokesperson, say agents were on site on October 8, 2015 recovering documents and computer hard drives for the ongoing investigation. Former Cairo mayor and ACHA director James Wilson said over the phone he believed problems worsened after his 2014 retirement, and criticized the Chicago office of US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s decision to put Jefferson Co. Housing Authority Director Tom Upchurch in charge of finding a fix for the ACHA. The Jefferson County Housing Authority is rated as one of the most effective housing authorities in Illinois by a composite score known as the PHAS rating. If the buildings cannot be salvaged, Upchurch said in August that county authorities will work with tenants individually to find them a place to stay. A time frame on the study has not been released.