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Washington, D.C. –U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) led a push in Congress Friday for answers regarding alleged corruption at the Alexander County Housing Authority, the same day as the House approved an amendment Bost introduced to help ease the transition of Cairo residents and other Americans who have been displaced from a public housing authority to a new location.

“Cairo’s suffering is due in large part to years of fraud and corruption at the highest levels of Alexander County’s housing authority,” said Bost. “As Cairo’s representative in Congress, I am doing all I can to hold these individuals accountable and help the residents of Cairo transition to a better living situation. I am proud to have the backing of Reps. Duffy, Wagner, and Palmer – three important subcommittee chairs with oversight over housing and government accountability – in this fight.  It’s a real shame that the individuals who may be found guilty for causing this harm could have better living conditions in prison than many of the residents they were charged with protecting.  

Bost authored a letter to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson requesting information related to decades of alleged corruption by officials at the ACHA.  Bost enlisted the backing of Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI), Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee; Ann Wagner (R-MO), Chair of the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee; and  Gary Palmer (R-AL), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee in this effort.  The House Financial Services Committee has oversight over HUD public housing, while the Government Reform and Oversight Committee has conducted some of Congress’s most high profile investigations of federal waste, fraud, and abuse.

Bost’s letter to HUD requests:

  • A list of inspections and financial audits, or other reviews, conducted by HUD of the ACHA going back to at least 1995;
  • Findings of the inspections and audits, and reviews, including physical inspection scores of the Elmwood and McBride buildings;
  • Audits, inspections, or reviews of Elmwood and McBride maintenance records; and
  • Documents and communications relating to potential fraud, waste or abuse involving ACHA officials and employees.

Additionally, Congress unanimously approved an amendment Friday that Bost introduced to the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act (H.R. 2842). The workforce legislation provides funding for states to subsidize up to 50 percent of employment for a limited time for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in an effort to link low-income Americans looking for work with employers looking to fill job openings. Bost’s amendment to H.R. 2842, which was adopted unanimously by the House, ensures this program considers TANF-qualified individuals who have been displaced or relocated from a public housing authority to a new location.