We don't understand why East St. Louis public housing residents care, but some of them are in a tizzy because the federal government wants to transfer control from the Chicago HUD office to St. Clair County.
East St. Louis has its own election board, and some residents think they should have a city-controlled housing authority also. One person labeled this plan an injustice that would create transportation hardships for residents and fewer jobs in the city.
Please. The residents are still going to have taxpayer-provided roofs over their heads regardless of which agency is in charge. Belleville is just minutes away. As for jobs: The purpose of public housing is to provide services to residents, not to be a hiring hall.
The idea of the city running the program is a non-starter. There is no way the federal government could responsibly give control back to the city. HUD operates the program now only because the city did such a poor job previously. There's no sense risking a repeat of that fiasco, especially when the county offers a viable alternative.
St. Clair County handles public housing in every other community in the county. Why shouldn't it handle housing in East St. Louis, also?