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Heated meeting held at Niles Housing Commission

A special meeting was held on Monday by the Niles Housing Commission regarding their standing with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Residents came to voice their opinion because they are upset that the board of commissioners might fire Executive Director Shelly Casey.

The commissioners decided to table everything on the agenda and that only added fuel to the fire for some residents. 

Helen Benjamin said, “I don't see why she's being fired, because she's got us in the black. This is just like a family here and there's just a few; excuse my language, jackasses that want to fight in here!”

Benjamin and her service dog, 'Rosie' have lived in the public housing complex on Cass Street in Niles for nearly 17 years. 

Benjamin supports Executive Director Casey.

Benjamin said, "That lady  has been  honest! That lady has treated us all the same! That lady has been honest to us!"

Benjamin believes Casey has done a good job improving the public housing complex.

Benjamin said, “During the summer, there's flowers out here, we've got a fish pond out here, we've got different things and it just feels like family in here.”

According to HUD, a recovery agreement notice was sent to the commission stating they needed a property management group to oversee operations. Recently that group was fired which is violating the agreement with HUD. 

If the problems persist, HUD could withdrawal funding. 

Last month, several board members resigned over these growing issues and the new members refused to comment on the situation on Monday.

Dee Jennings said it's time for Executive Director Casey to go.  

Jennings said, "She treats people like they're dirt underneath her feet." 

Jennings described Casey as a bully and said her quality of life in the complex is poor.

To sum up the meeting, Rex Nelson said nothing was done. Casey wasn't fired, a management group was not elected, and tenants don't have answers. 

Nelson said, “The board hired her, the board has to fire her, and she hasn't even been in front of the board to be fired!”

A representative from HUD might be visiting the property on Wednesday to discuss ongoing problems. 

Casey did not want to comment on the story because she still holds her position.

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