Housing and Homelessness | Connecticut Public Radio
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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.

A street in Hartford's North End neighborhood in April 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut mortgage lenders are coming under more scrutiny after a recent settlement highlighted practices that discriminated against minority populations.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Peeling paint, leaking showers, mice and mold—these are just some of the problems that residents of a Hartford apartment complex say they have been dealing with for years. But now, people living at the Barbour Gardens apartment complex claimed a victory in their fight with management after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced they would help residents relocate to safe housing. 

For Many Baby Boomers, Livin' Large Means Moving To The City

Feb 8, 2019
Tony Luong / Courtesy of AARP

Their parents may have spent their golden years in vast 55 and older retirement communities, or remote cookie-cutter housing developments in the suburbs. But more and more, baby boomers are deciding that's definitely not for them.

They want to live in walkable, vibrant neighborhoods where there's a mix of young and old, lots of dining options, and plenty of culture.

nathanmac87 / Flickr

Cities and towns have laws to keep people from engaging in behavior that may disturb others, like sleeping on park benches, drinking in public, or just plain “loitering”.

What does it mean when just hanging out in a public space puts you in violation of these laws?

"It's cold, you're lonely, [and] you feel like there's nobody out there for you," said Andrew Carrington, who slept outside once when it was nine degrees. "It's despair."
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state activated its severe weather protocol as temperatures dropped toward a low of three degrees in parts of Connecticut Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

For more than a decade, the impact of sea level rise and tidal flooding has been making waves on the real estate market of coastal New England, costing homeowners more than $400 million in lost value.

That’s according to a report from First Street Foundation, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that studies the impact of sea level rise and flooding.

Clarice Silber / CT Mirror

Shuttered national parks, TSA workers calling in sick, hundreds of thousands of paychecks missed. Americans around the country are feeling the impact of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. But it’s not just federal employees who are struggling.

This hour, we find out how the shutdown is affecting some of the country’s most vulnerable residents.

The partial shutdown of the federal government is causing some financial problems for furloughed workers who can't refinance their mortgages or buy homes because lenders can't verify their income. But unpaid federal employees aren't the only ones running into problems.

Libby Anderson, for example, got her final divorce decree on Tuesday. She'd hoped that would mean her ex-husband would finally move out of their Des Moines, Iowa, home, where they've been living separate lives under one roof for eight months.

Helen Taylor / Flickr

On a January night in 2018, there were more than 3,000 people experiencing homelessness across the state of Connecticut.

This hour we sit down with Dr. Richard Cho, the new CEO of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. Connecticut has made major strides in reducing homelessness, but how do we address areas where residents are still falling through the cracks?

Officer Jim Barrett looked after this year's Footwear With Care Holiday Boot Party by keeping tabs on the line outside the venue in Hartford. He also met with people that he could help next.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

One homeless man’s interaction with a Hartford police officer has become more than just a legendary city tale.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A new federal report says Connecticut experienced one of the largest year-to-year percentage increases in homelessness. But state officials and advocates say Hurricane Maria had a major impact on those numbers.

Jimmy Crespo of Hartford received a new pair of Wolverine boots as part of a winter charity effort put together by Footwear With Care. That nonprofit held a 'Winter Boot Party' in Hartford Saturday, December 8, 2018.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A local nonprofit outfitted about 400 people with a brand new pair of boots and a fresh pair of socks at an event called the “Winter Boot Party” at the Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford Saturday.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When CVS agreed to acquire Aetna, they halted a plan to move the Hartford-based company’s headquarters to New York City. Connecticut has been breathing a sigh of relief that one of the capital’s largest employers isn’t ditching the state.

Since last Thursday, the House of Mercy has been busier than usual. The part shelter/part church/part donations center is among the places people affected by the Merrimack Valley gas explosions can go for help.

Their building, in an industrial corner of Lawrence, is a cramped space nearly floor-to-ceiling with diapers, bottled water and canned food.

Mabel Valenzuela, who works at House of Mercy, walks through a tight hallway, surveying the inventory.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

It’s been ten years since the Great Recession reared its ugly head, lurching the country into a state of economic crisis. 

This hour, we look back and ask: What effect did the downturn have on the American public? And how did it come to reshape perceptions of the so-called ‘American dream’?

We check in with a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center. We also sit down with experts in the fields of economics and sociology. And we want to hear from you.

Whether you’re an immigrant or a native-born citizen, what do the words American dream mean to you? Is the answer to that question more or less clear now than it was a decade ago? 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Puerto Rican government has acknowledged that nearly 3,000 people died after Hurricane Maria hit the island last year. At first, it said that only 64 people perished as a result of the storm.

Dennis Carr / Flickr

Each year, millions of Americans are evicted from their homes.

This hour we talk with Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City started a national conversation about America’s eviction crisis.

A 2-year-old girl living in a rental home in New Haven, Connecticut, tested positive for lead in her blood. The levels were nine times what the federal government says will cause irreversible development problems.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

You only have to ask Ramón Luis Morales once to know that the trauma of Hurricane Maria is still fresh.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The state of Connecticut has set aside $1.5 million to meet the needs of Puerto Rican evacuees and the Connecticut municipalities that took them in for the current fiscal year.

Bob Adelman / Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline

This Independence Day, Connecticut residents will flock to the shoreline, raising umbrellas and spreading towels along the state's beaches.

Yet, behind this sunny imagery hides a somber history -- a story of coastal ownership and exclusivity.

This hour, University of Virginia professor and Free the Beaches author Andrew Kahrl joins us. We reflect on the impact of Connecticut’s private and restricted beaches and learn about a 20th-century crusade to unlock the state’s coast. 

Nine months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, there are an estimated 300 families still living in hotels in Massachusetts with FEMA and the state footing the bill.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Ben Carson, the secretary of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development was in Connecticut Monday to visit the home of a family dealing with a crumbling foundation in Willington.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Apartment residents in a section of Hartford’s North End got some good news Thursday regarding their poor living conditions. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development said it would terminate a New York landlord’s Section 8 contract to provide subsidized housing to the tenants of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments.

Bob Adelman / Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline

This Memorial Day weekend, Connecticut residents will flock to the shoreline, raising umbrellas and spreading towels along the state's beaches.

Yet, behind this sunny imagery hides a somber history -- a story of coastal ownership and exclusivity.

This hour, University of Virginia professor and Free the Beaches author Andrew Kahrl joins us. We reflect on the impact of Connecticut’s private and restricted beaches and learn about a 20th-century crusade to unlock the state’s coast. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

An estimated 13,000 Puerto Ricans came to Connecticut after Hurricane Maria, according to The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.

The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved a $12 annual surcharge on the insurance policies of every residential homeowner in the state. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 97 to 42 during a rare weekend session on Saturday.

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. 

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