Luther Simmons

Letter To The Editor:

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Several months ago, I took a ride with Andy Hightower, Director of the Madison County Housing Authority. We toured three of his housing developments - one in Collinsville, one in Venice, and one in Edwardsville, over 200 units total. What I saw was three developments that were neat, clean, quiet, and obviously well managed. Excellent properties. Excellent management. I would not be hesitant for friends or family to live in any of the three. Kudos Andy.

I am on the record as taking a public stance against Dr. Ed Hightower and his Sunnybrook development in Alton.

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Recently, I became involved in a search for affordable housing in Alton for a deserving Alton family of three, headed by a hard-working mother who happens to be a county employee. There was absolutely a dearth of available housing for this family to be found in Alton. Not a single unit could be found that satisfied this family’s need. Edwardsville had plenty, and this family that the Alton community could ill afford to lose considered moving there. Fortunately, a good Samaritan stepped up out of the blue at the last minute with a rental property that satisfied their needs. However, the affordable housing market as a whole in Alton was literally non-existent.

So I am happy to say to Ed and Andy, I was wrong about Sunnybrook. Bring it on, Alton needs a larger stock of affordable housing. I have no reason to believe it will not be as impeccably managed as Andy Hightower’s May Apartments in Edwardsville, Woodland Park in Collinsville, and Meachum Crossing in Venice.

Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and I was wrong about Sunnybrook. Alton needs affordable housing, regardless of where it is situated.

- Ed and Andy, kindly accept my apology.

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