The Housing Authority of Henry County (HAHC) announced Thursday a tenant has died in Washington Apartments, Kewanee.

On May 27, 2022, a HAHC staff member noticed a flyer that was not retrieved from an apartment door in the complex, and she contacted the agency’s Tenant Resource Officer for a welfare check.

The Tenant Resource Officer and another HAHC staff member conducted a resident welfare check that day and discovered the 50-year-old occupant was dead, the release said. They contacted the Kewanee Police Department who, in turn, contacted the County Coroner’s office.

An internal agency investigation revealed that the tenant was not discovered sooner due to a number of factors:

  • He was a newer tenant and had not established routines that were observable to neighbors or staff; therefore, nothing amiss was detected.
  • His apartment was located at the end of a hallway and there was no odor detected despite nearby activity from housekeeping, neighbors, and occasional staff. There were no reports from neighbors. The housing authority is an affordable housing landlord of 500 units and does not provide assisted living services.
  • Our tenants have a right to privacy and many choose to lead quiet, private lives. The housing authority has an obligation to conduct a physical inspection of units and certify income annually; this activity was not due to occur during the time period at issue.

“The Housing Authority of Henry County is deeply saddened by this event and extend our condolences to the family,” said the release from HAHC CEO Angela Hathaway. “I understand that it is a sensational story with citizens seeking to lay blame; however, I stand firmly with my team and remain proud of the challenging and meaningful work that we do.”

Hathaway said Thursday she could only provide the age of the tenant and date he was found. The Henry County Coroner could not be reached for comment.