EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – An East St. Louis Housing Authority executive is under fire after residents complain about the conditions of a senior citizen building.
Residents said the building has a wide range of problems that have not been fixed, and they point the finger at Housing Authority Executive Director Angela Russell-Perry.
“I am doing the best I can with the funding that I have. I’ve been here for 18 months,” Russell-Perry said. “I am trying to rebrand this Housing Authority so that we can work in the best interest of the residents and that’s what my plan and my goal is, and I am doing that.”
One tenant’s apartment had a stove against the wall creating a fire hazard, a peeling bathroom wall, and infestations of bugs and mice in the kitchen.
“I’ve hired a new maintenance person, we are working on maintenance work orders in reference to that addressing that,” Russell-Perry said. “Currently, I don’t have the housing to remove them into other housing. We are working in reference to that.”
“It’s not decent housing, correct, and I am doing my best to make sure that I move my residents out of that into decent houses,” Russell-Perry said.
She explained what she was doing to improve the situation.
“Received these grants, I’ve applied for grants to rehab, and that’s what I’m doing,” Russell-Perry said.
However, she said she has no plan to rehab the senior citizen building.
95 people are living in the building. In all, the Housing Authority has 1,667 housing units.
Perry said she had applied for a $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to do a major renovation, but she did not get the grant. She believes the Housing Authorities’ bad reputation was the reason.
However, Perry said she is confident she can turn the unpleasant situation around.
“Of course, it’s going to turn around, always have hope never give up,” she said.