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HUD Administrator Meets with McDonough County Agencies

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Leaders of social service agencies in McDonough County have shared their stories of service with a HUD administrator. Antonio Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator, accepted an invitation from the McDonough County Housing Authority to view the opportunities and challenges of providing such housing in a rural area.

Riley said the level of cooperation he saw in McDonough County is rare outside large, urban areas.

He said, “In a community of this size, it is extraordinary the impact that this kind of collaboration is having. And this is the kind of thing that we want to be encouraging as a federal agency.”

He met with leaders from several agencies such as PRIME, the Samaritan Well and Western Illinois University's Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration program which assists several local initiatives.

Riley said public housing can be a rallying point for agencies to meet the needs of many residents.

He said, “Looking at what I'm seeing here, we want to make sure that other parts of the region are taking a look at models like this.”

Riley said public housing residents often have challenges beyond their incomes. He said those challenges can only be addressed by a coalition of agencies dedicated to improving the qualities of residents' lives.

Riley oversees HUD operations in six states; Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.