Cairo, IL residents continue preparations to move after HUD waives 120-day window

Cairo, IL residents continue preparations to move after HUD waives 120-day window

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is pressing the head of Housing and Urban Development to help the dozens of Cairo families impacted by the closing of the Elmwood and McBride Housing Projects.

However, the Cairo community in the McBride and Elmwood housing still feels the pain.

Earline Lyons has lived in the Elmwood housing complex for three years.

"It's kind of like depressing…very depressing," she said.

As she gets ready to move, she has one very heartfelt concern.

"My grandson, he's autistic and he needs place familiar with…and if he doesn't, he can regress backwards," said Lyons.

On Monday, she officially signed her paperwork for her voucher, but can't see through the confusion and conflicting information.

"Menard County said that when we get our voucher, that's when the 120 days starts plus the 60 days, so I don't know," she said. "One bunch says this and one bunch says this…I don't know who to believe really."

According to Jerry Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary at HUD in Washington, D.C.,  the value of the vouchers depends on where they're going to move.

He said HUD will be as "flexible as possible on vouchers," so that means they are waiving the 120 days and there is no window for the move according to Brown.

In addition, there is no demolition date set for the units. So, that means families will get more time to find a new place to live.

Nard and Carolyn Faulkner, residents of McBride, say that offers some relief.

"It's a little better but still in the back of our minds we know we still have to leave…"

But the Faulkers are being realistic about the move.

"I'm not trying to kill myself worrying and stressing about where we are going but I got to do something because we cant live on the streets…My thoughts, I'm still not prepared for this…mentally or physically I'm not prepared for this," said Carolyn Faulkner.

Residents impacted by the demolitions will have more than the six months originally given to find a new place to live. In the meantime, Senator Durbin also called on HUD leaders to hold people accountable in Washington for what took place in Cairo.

Secretary Carson called the situation in Alexander County completely "unacceptable" and said HUD plans to take care of it.

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