WNPR

Housing and Homelessness

Housing issues affect everyone in Connecticut, from those who are searching for a safe place to live, to those who may find it increasingly difficult to afford a place they already call home.

With generous support from the Melville Charitable Trust, WNPR and Susan Campbell are covering Connecticut's housing and homelessness issues in a series that examines how residents are handling the challenges they face. We look at the trends that matter most right now, and tell stories that help bring the issues to light.

Contact Susan by email at slcampbell417 at gmail.com.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will keep paying for temporary housing until the end of June for hurricane evacuees from Puerto Rico. But it says it's the last extension it will offer. 

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson wants Americans living on housing assistance to put more of their income toward rent and he wants to give public housing authorities the ability to impose work requirements on tenants.

Under current law, most tenants who get federal housing assistance pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent, and the government kicks in the rest up to a certain amount.

Mary Anne Williams

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are pushing two separate federal bills to secure the same goal: at least $100 million in federal aid for state residents that are affected by crumbling foundations.

Mary Anne Williams

Three-quarters of the federal cash that was recently allocated to help families in Eastern Connecticut with crumbling foundations has been diverted by state officials for other needs.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Six months after Hurricane Maria, evacuees from Puerto Rico are still looking for affordable places to live. And they’re looking to the government for help, particularly through available public housing, but they’re not getting it.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A two-bedroom unit at Brick Hollow in Hartford comes with a refrigerator, a stove, and a washer and dryer.

Maribel Perez has five people that live with her and no money to stock her new apartment with basic furniture.

A real estate venture formerly run by Jared Kushner falsified construction permits for dozens of apartment buildings it owned in New York City, allowing the company to push out rent-controlled tenants and boost profits when it later sold the properties, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The memory of Hurricane Maria still lives with Carmen Cotto.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian Rivera was finishing breakfast in the lobby of the Red Room Inn in downtown Hartford. He’s been living there with his wife and two toddlers since December. And he didn’t know yet if he’d have to move out soon.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Valle Hill is a neighborhood in Puerto Rico that shouldn’t exist.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Members of Hartford’s Puerto Rican community held a rally and a candlelight vigil Friday night in front of the hotel where dozens of hurricane evacuees from the island have been living since Hurricane Maria.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Only days after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would pay for dozens of hurricane evacuees to stay in a Harford hotel until mid-February, state officials were told by FEMA on Thursday there had been an error, and that several of the families had to vacate their temporary housing. 

Multiculturalism / Creative Commons

Race is a myth; racism is not. I'm stealing this line from Gene Seymour, one of our guests on our show today. 

Mary Anne Williams

The IRS has clarified that Connecticut homeowners who have already incurred expenses to repair crumbling foundations will be able to deduct existing losses from their federal taxes. 

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