HUD letter tells residents in Cairo to move "immediately" - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

HUD letter tells residents in Cairo to move "immediately"

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CAIRO -- A new letter from a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development official has residents of two condemned housing developments confused about their immediate future.

Lisa, who didn't want to give her last name, lives in the McBride housing unit in Cairo.

HUD plans to tear down McBride, along with the Elmwood complex, because of unsafe living conditions.

Last Wednesday, Lisa, and her neighbors found a  letter on their doors saying residents in the complexes must relocate immediately, despite being previously told there was no deadline to leave their homes.

"It sounded urgent," she said. "Leave immediately, so that they can get the process going and get it all over with."

The letter to residents from HUD-appointed Alexander County Housing Authority Director Towanda Macon says that efforts to relocate residents in the two complexes are "extremely urgent" and that residents must relocate as soon as possible.

The letter also says that a date hasn't been set by which the properties must be vacated, but one will be decided soon.

Lisa says she understands the decision, but many of her neighbors who are originally from the area are extremely upset and want answers.

 "So far I think its hurtful," she said. "It's just a move that came on suddenly"

Since being told about the demolition plans this past spring, 70 families have relocated.

115 remain at the two properties.

Some residents, tell me they felt the letter had a threatening tone, calling it a scare tactic to make them move from their homes sooner. 

Lisa, on the other hand, says she's choosing to stay optimistic about the situation, even as she doesn't know what's next.

"It's kind of hard deciding," Lisa said. "Being that it happened so quickly but I'm looking for a better life."

News 3 reached out to HUD about the letters and when people may be forced to vacate the complexes, but haven't heard back.

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