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Last January, an estimated 2,500 young people experienced homelessness in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Coalition To End Homelessness annual Youth Count. And that was before the pandemic that overturned so many lives.

Connecticut had made a goal to end youth homelessness by 2020. So what gaps remain? We hear from advocates, providers, and a young person about how the state can help youth at risk of housing insecurity and homelessness.

Have you or someone you know experienced housing insecurity or homelessness?

Roman Eugeniusz / Wikimedia Commons

With the ongoing pandemic, what do municipalities need to do to stay afloat?  This hour, we look at neighborhoods and towns in Connecticut working to keep their residents connected and businesses thriving during this pandemic. We hear from residents in Westville, a small thriving community in New Haven. We also hear from New London - a city looking to revitalize and create more resiliency. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont extended a moratorium on evictions last week until Feb. 9 -- good news for local tenants.

But housing advocates want more.

Tenants at Barbour Garden Apartments in Hartford experienced unsafe conditions including mold, mice, and leaky ceilings. The lawsuit claims that tenants experienced housing discrimination in their search for better living conditions.
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public Radio

A group of former residents from Hartford’s North End is taking on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Center for Leadership and Justice filed suit on their behalf Wednesday, claiming that HUD failed to reduce segregation when giving them options for new housing.

Civil Rights Attorneys Take Aim At Single-Family Zoning Using Woodbridge As Test Case

Sep 29, 2020
From left, Anika Singh Lemar, Erin Boggs, Connie Royster and Karen Anderson pose for a portrait at the Woodbridge Town Hall.
YEHYUN KIM / CTMirror.org

Woodbridge — It was 2009 when the country club in this affluent New Haven suburb started sliding into bankruptcy.

Fearful that the 150-acre property would be scooped up by a developer looking to build affordable or multi-family housing, Woodbridge officials purchased the property that spring for $7 million.

Nicolas Boullosa / Creative Commons

One of the few silver linings of the pandemic has been a resurgence of interest in motels and RV life from a diverse group of millennials who want safe and less expensive options to travel and work during a pandemic.

And motels and RV companies are trying to meet the demand with upgrades and amenities like flat-screen TVs, memory-foam mattresses, and free Wi-Fi.

Some are turning to RV life permanently to travel, live, and work from where they want instead of being tethered to a desk and real estate. The pandemic has shown us that millennials who have never known the security of stable jobs or home ownership feel more "at home" outside traditional places.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Despite New England's progressive reputation, residential segregation still exists in communities throughout the region. 

In this second episode of a special radio series on "Racism In New England," we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live — from the predominantly white states of northern New England to cities and suburbs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Only two families have received aid in the five months since state officials established a program to help those struggling to pay rent during the pandemic, leaving a backlog of nearly 7,400 applications and growing frustration about the slow pace of the approval process.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Howard K. Hill wants to bring the economic, social and cultural vibrancy back to Hartford’s Barbour Street. On a hot summer day, the funeral home owner may have been the only person dressed in a full suit strolling down a street peppered with closed businesses, dilapidated housing and streets in need of a serious cleanup.

Pandemic Worsens 'Already Fragile' Situation for Homeless Youth, Young Adults

Aug 18, 2020
Residents of Malta House in Norwalk gather and play with their children.
Malta House Handout Photo

Johanna Vasquez, 19, and her 4-month-old baby ended up at Malta House in Norwalk as a result of an abusive relationship. Vasquez’s boyfriend hit her, she said, because he was home without a job and “was stressed.”

Kin Mun Lee / Creative Commons

In July, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker wrote an op-ed in which he suggests penalizing Connecticut towns that fail to meet the threshold of making 10% of their housing supply affordable. If they don’t comply, he said, they should be taxed.  

As our pandemic-induced recession marches on, a lot of people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own now face the scary prospect of losing their homes. A moratorium on evictions is slated to end soon. In anticipation of this, the Connecticut Department of Housing has announced two relief programs for renters and homeowners. 

Lamont, Legislators Agree On July Agenda. It Doesn't Include Housing Segregation

Jul 15, 2020
Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

A broadening coalition of affordable-housing advocates gathered outside the State Capitol on Tuesday to insist that the time has come to tackle housing segregation in Connecticut. But that time will not be this month.

Black And Puerto Rican Caucus 'Agenda For Equity' Includes More Than Police Reforms

Jul 7, 2020
State Rep. Brandon McGee announces the agenda crafted by the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.
Connecticut House Democrats

Members of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus added their voices Tuesday to the growing calls for systemic reforms that would make life safer and more equitable for Connecticut’s residents of color.

Ali Warshavsky / Connecticut Public Radio

Real estate agents say the fight over homes on the market in Fairfield County is heating up as millennials who lived in New York City want out due to COVID-19.

Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

This article was produced in partnership with the Propublica Local Reporting Network.

On a recent Sunday, protesters marched through the center of Weston, a small, wealthy town in southwest Connecticut. They chanted “no justice, no peace” and raised handwritten signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Silence is Violence.” 

Somewhere in the crowd, Brian Murray hoisted his own message.

“Fact check: Weston, CT. No Black teachers. No Black police officers. No Black board members. No Black town of Weston government office members.”

David McBee / Pexels

Protests against police brutality have put systemic racism in the spotlight. But how do the written and unwritten rules in communities perpetuate racial inequality?

Dennis Carr / Flickr

The beginning of the month means the rent is due. But what if you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This hour, we talk to a housing advocate about what protections exist for Connecticut residents who can’t afford housing costs right now. And we learn about the lasting consequences for residents who are at risk for eviction if the state and federal governments don’t provide additional protections.

Cases Of Lead-Poisoned Children Drop 17% In Connecticut

Feb 15, 2020

A total of 1,665 Connecticut children under age 6 had lead poisoning in 2017, a drop of almost 17% from the year before and the largest one-year decrease in five years, according to a just-released report from the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

State officials are pursuing a new way to hold accountable landlords who endanger residents with unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, starting with the former owner of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments in the North End of Hartford. 

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

Daniel Case / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s major cities have some of the highest eviction rates in the nation, and one lawmaker says it’s time to take action on the issue. 

A 2016 study by The Eviction Lab at Princeton University lists the top 100 evicting cities in the United States. Four out of the five cities listed in the Northeast are in Connecticut -- Waterbury, Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Five Connecticut women returning from prison just got a big gift in time for the holiday season -- a new home.

M R / CREATIVE COMMONS

The New Haven Board of Alders unanimously passed an amendment to a city ordinance Monday night that requires the Health Department to take action when a child under 6 years old has a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter or greater.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

At the Urban Hope Refuge Church in the North End of Hartford, residents and activists celebrated the city’s new housing codes, which they hope will hold landlords and owners more accountable.

“The new code will not only prevent slumlords from continuing to make money off horrendous and inhumane living conditions they create for residents,” said Joshua Serrano, “but also lift the corporate veil, of which many slumlords hide.” 

Phil Warren / Creative Commons

On the need for new affordable housing, some Connecticut municipalities say "not in my backyard." But why this NIMBY approach?

This hour, we take an in-depth look with the author of a ProPublica-Connecticut Mirror investigation into local housing policies. We also check in with a town in southwest Connecticut, and with the policy director for the nonprofit Partnership for Strong Communities. 

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

Mary Anne Williams

Dozens of Connecticut homes have been hoisted off the ground as the state helps pay homeowners to repair ruined concrete foundations. 

This hour, we check in on the crumbling foundations crisis that is impacting homes and homeowners. We talk with the Hartford Courant journalist behind a yearlong series on Connecticut’s ruined concrete foundations

Magicpiano / Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned factories tagged with graffiti. Vacant properties marked by broken windows and overgrown lawns. This hour, we consider the impact of urban blight on communities and hear how some local municipalities are working to improve quality of life.

We check in with the cities of Waterbury and Hartford, where significant strides have been made to survey and address blight.

We also talk with Laura Bliss of CityLab and with a housing official in Baltimore. How effective has the Maryland city’s Vacants to Value program been at reducing the number of vacant, blighted properties? We find out. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A group of Connecticut residents, advocates and state leaders in Hartford are demanding systematic change in public housing assistance, in the wake of several scandals over shocking conditions at public housing complexes. Many say the help available to tenants from the federal government is inadequate.

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