A Rockford Housing Authority complex that historically has been without problems now sees arrests on the rise. Brewington Oaks is a place for seniors and disabled people. The RHA believes part of the problems are coming because recently the number of people who live there doubled.
"What you find is because there is more people there is more prey," says Ron Clewer, RHA president/CEO.
The Rockford Housing Authority says since the start of the year 22 arrest have been made at Brewington Oaks. Not a huge number, but for a complex usually without problems it's cause for concern. Nine of the incidents were trespassers. But Rockford Police say there is also a problem with drugs. Some residents are even buying and selling them.
"There has been an increase in narcotic activity at the complex," says Lieutenant Darin Spades, Rockford Police Department.
The recent arrests brings to light Brewington Oaks might be ready for a change. The housing authority is considering splitting up seniors and disabled people and not having them live together.
"The populations that fall into our disabled categories unfortunately have a higher instances of mental health issues and therefore have a higher incidence of drug abuse or drug related activity. And I think we would like to believe that's not the case but clearly the numbers show it is. Unfortunately they also show its a high case of prostitution around these populations," says Clewer.
The Rockford Housing Authority plans to hold a public meeting to ask about changing Brewington to either all disabled or all seniors. Some of the people who live there do not see a problem. But a man who's sister lives in the building says not everyone is comfortable.
"The older people that's in the building I think they are afraid of the people. They are afraid, they are afraid. You should split them up, you know," says
RHA plans to hold public meetings on the future of Brewington Oaks in the next couple of weeks.
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