HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 19-033
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
For Release
March 19, 2019

Benton, Illinois company selected to demolish Elmwood and McBride housing developments

WASHINGTON - The Alexander County Housing Authority today awarded a $1.9 million demolition contract to RCRA Inc. (Earth Services) of Benton, Illinois ( to raze 278 housing units in the Elmwood and McBride public housing complexes in Cairo.

Built in the 1940s, the Elmwood and McBride public housing developments are two-story structures that experienced years of deferred maintenance which ultimately rendered them unsafe and unhealthy for residents.

"The electrical and plumbing systems are out of date, insulation is insufficient and the cost of repairing these developments to meet basic health and safety standards exceeds $7.5 million," explained Jereon Brown, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesman. "In the end, the only responsible solution for these World War II-era buildings was to tear them down."

HUD provided the 185 Elmwood and McBride families with tenant protection vouchers that allowed them to relocate anywhere within the nation.

Earth Services provides demolition services locally and nationwide. Generally, the firm will perform a pre-demolition assessment of each building, remove remaining hazardous materials such as asbestos and perform lead-based paint (LBP) mitigation, as needed. Following demolition, the company will remove all debris and material to appropriate disposal facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How was the contractor selected?

This was a competitive selection process. RCRA Inc., submitted the lowest bid.

How much will demolition cost?

Nearly $2 million dollars.

How will the units be demolished?

The demolition will primarily be performed with heavy machinery, including excavators, bulldozers and wrecking balls.

How long will the demolition take?

We anticipate the demolition will be completed by September 2019.

What will happen to the land?

The land will be restored to green space.


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Content Archived: January 1, 2021