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Expos1225 / Creative Commons

A renewed effort is underway to examine the potential for market-rate housing in downtown Springfield. On Thursday, the city along with Laurie Volk of Zimmerman/Volk Associates released a study showing strong promise for the success of housing in the area where a casino development may take place.

Hearst had San Simeon. Kane had Xanadu. UConn President Susan Herbst has Scarborough Street (in addition to the expensively refurbished president's mansion in Storrs). 

You can hardly blame her for wanting a pied à terre somewhere. It's nice to be able to get away from a campus which, as far as I can tell, is up in arms against her.

Creative Commons

Connecticut saw a boost in home sales in September. According to the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate data firm, 2,326 single family homes sold in the state in the month. That’s up 21.4 percent from September of 2012.

Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

The state will establish a loan fund for shoreline residents who want to raise their homes out of the flood zone. Thousands of shoreline homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by flooding just one year ago, during Superstorm Sandy. And for many, that was a second time around, after Tropical Storm Irene the year before. 

David Panagore

More apartments are in the works for the city of Hartford, as the city has agreed to borrow $5 million to build 79 more units at the historic Colt Gateway complex.

The Colt is the structure with the blue onion dome just off I-91 in Hartford. And it was once home to the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, which made “the guns that won the West.” 

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

There were 1.9 percent fewer existing homes sold in September than in August, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

Chion Wolf

It’s town ranking season again, and whether or not you think rankings like this really matter, it’s interesting that Connecticut Magazine is changing things up a bit. Instead of grouping towns based on population, which tends to favor the Greenwichs, Westports and West Hartfords, the magazine grouped towns based on average home value. That puts small communities with more affordable housing at the top of the rankings (hello Colebrook and Barkhamsted).

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

A new report from the Partnership for Strong Communities, a housing advocacy organization, says that Connecticut continues to suffer from a lack of affordable housing.

Town Of Marlborough

The story of hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing insurance premiums in the city of Hartford continues to unravel. And the man at the center of the drama appears to have significant financial problems of his own: one of his homes now faces foreclosure.

When he was a student at Wesleyan University, Earl O'Garro felt like it was a crime to be rich. At least, that's what he said in an online profile posted a few years back

Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

August saw a big boost in home sales in Connecticut, with 2,893 homes sold that month. It's the highest number of single family homes sold for that month in six years, up ten percent from the same month in 2012.

As with so many other types of economic activity, the government shutdown is causing more fear than actual harm in the housing market thus far.

But that doesn't mean things won't start going wrong in the very near future.

Various federal agencies play greater or lesser roles in real estate transactions. With most of them sidelined, simple matters such as closing on mortgages are becoming more complicated.

The Partnership for Strong Communities wants to know if you can find an affordable apartment in expensive Connecticut. Their new video game, Rent Roulette, allows you to role play. "Maybe you'll land a job that allows you to live where you want," they say. "But maybe, you’ll be like so many in our expensive state, and have to settle for something less." The game was designed by Ed Hogan of Manchester Community College, and includes real-time housing and labor data for Connecticut.

Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis

Economists at the University of Connecticut are calling on the state to use bonds that have been approved by the legislature but never issued. The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis forecast reports that if the state relies only on traditional drivers like the housing market to grow the economy, it could begin to lose jobs again in 2014.

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it was suing Bank of America for allegedly lying to investors about the riskiness of about $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities back in 2008.

According to a press release by the Justice Department, the action is part of efforts of the Obama administration's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force's RMBS Working Group.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It's been more than a half century since the state built two big public housing developments in Hartford -- nestled in neighborhoods that now include middle-class housing, the University of Hartford, and expensive single family homes. The housing developments are called Westbrook Village and Bowles Park. Over time, the units have grown too old and expensive to repair.

Marcin Wichary/flickr creative commons

Caroline Rob Zaleski’s research on the work of key figures in 2oth-century architecture, the relatively unknown aspects of their production, and their associations with clients, artists, and politicians chronicles a rich and little-known array of architecture on Long Island, a hotbed of modernism from the 1930s on. Zaleski documents the development of exurbia and the rise of visionary structures: residences for commuters and weekenders, public housing, houses of worship, universities, shopping centers, and office complexes, and she is our guest.

Connecticut's Complicated Housing Market

Jun 11, 2013
claudiasimsphotography

June is Homeownership Month and part of peak real estate season. The housing market across the nation is finally showing signs of improvement with signs up across the nation. But it is not the market it was before the 2008 crash.

Some real estate experts say the market hit bottom at 2011 and has been slowly climbing back. This means jobs in construction and other parts of the housing sector.

Still, some 40,000 people are delinquent on their mortgages across the state. And others simply cannot afford any of the options.

Back in the early 2000s, a group of mostly low-income African- American families took the city of New Haven to court. They were fighting to stay in their homes which were slated for demolition in order to build a new school complex. A documentary film airing tonight on CPTV tells their story.

"My house is paid for. I’ll never have to pay another mortgage no more in life. It's not much, but its mine."

Fair housing advocates are celebrating a victory. They recently won a settlement from a Hartford-area landlord who allegedly denied apartments to people using public assistance to pay their rent. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center claimed the landlord, Paul Rosow, discriminated against people who received disability checks and housing assistance.

Fair housing advocates are celebrating a victory. They recently won a settlement from a Hartford-area landlord who allegedly denied apartments to people using public assistance to pay their rent. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center claimed the landlord, Paul Rosow, discriminated against people who received disability checks and housing assistance.

UI/Energize Connecticut

Development in Downtown Hartford

Jan 18, 2013
Global Jet, Creative Commons

Driving through downtown Hartford, you’ll see a lot of empty storefronts, plenty of parking garages, and some impressive high rises. And while the city has a hard time getting businesses to fill the office space - now at 26% vacancy -- developers can’t build housing fast enough to meet demand.

In fact, several of those old office buildings are being retrofitted for new housing. So people are voting for downtown housing with their dollars, but is there enough retail to keep feet on the street?

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

It's been five months since 16 homeless veterans moved into permanent supportive housing thanks to the American Legion Post in southeastern Connecticut. The Jewett City Post renovated its own building to create the apartments. The project was funding by the federal VA with help from private donations, Second district Congressman Joe Courtney, and the state of Connecticut.

This past summer, WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil introduced us to one of the new tenants, an Army veteran. She visited him recently as he prepares for his first Christmas inside his own place.

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The last of Hartford's post-war, barracks style federal public housing has come down.  And now, the city's housing authority is building something new in its place. 

A few years back, the Hartford Housing Authority started relocating the people who lived at Nelton Court. Then, last year, the authority started knocking the place down.  The housing authority says Nelton Court was beyond its useful life.  And it housed too many people in too small a place.  

Harriet Jones

There are widespread reports of the resurrection of the housing market. National data due out this week are expected to show a bump in sales of both existing and new homes. But for the small businesses supported by the industry, it’s been a long slow journey out of the deepest housing slump in a generation. 

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans will finally have a place to call their own, thanks to the American Legion.

The organization's post in a small Connecticut town has been working for a decade on a unique project to create not transitional but permanent supportive housing in their rural community.

For 55-year-old Army veteran Jeff MacDonald, the new facility in Jewett City, Conn., was like "winning the lottery."

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Originally aired on NPR's "All Things Considered"

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans will finally have a place to call their own thanks to the American Legion. A local Post in a small Connecticut town has been working for a decade on a unique project to create not transitional, but permanent supportive housing in their rural community. 

Neena Satija

Developers are taking advantage of a down economy to build more affordable housing. It’s happening even in the small-town suburbs of Connecticut, where people are forgoing the big country home for smaller, more energy-efficient houses or rental apartments. In the small Danbury suburb of Ridgefield,  not everyone is happy about the changes.

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