Housing and Homelessness | Connecticut Public Radio
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.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Marlene Hernandez shuffled through winter coats with her cousin Kaliel Diaz at a hurricane relief center in Hartford. Diaz arrived from Puerto Rico with three other family members just days before.

Caroline Lester

At 130,000 residents, New Haven, Connecticut is a small city, which makes its recent building boom especially notable. Over half-a-dozen luxury apartments have been built in under a decade, with more to come. Until now, the apartments were built on parking lots or old commercial space. But with the renovation of an old downtown hotel, New Haven will trade in affordable housing for high-end visitors.

Mark Moz / Flickr

Across the country, teachers are being shut out of some housing markets due to their low wages. That's according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. But the outlook in Connecticut is a little better.

Jon Kalish / NENC

In the small town of Warren, Vermont a so-called “net zero” house is being built that will not use any fossil fuel. The house has solar panels on the roof to generate electricity and pipes in the ground to capture geothermal energy for heating. It won’t be using power from the grid that was generated with fossil fuel.

David Bruce / WNPR

A recent study called “Out Of Reach” finds that someone working full-time, earning the federal minimum wage, would be unable to rent a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in this country. But a new partnership in New Haven is trying to address the problem, one house at a time.

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The catastrophic flooding happening in Texas is highlighting the importance of coastal resiliency. Researchers at the University of Connecticut say a lot of climate science currently focuses on biology and ecology, overlooking something else very important: the humans who own the land.

Disasters like the flooding that has followed Hurricane Harvey, displacing thousands of people, always create a tremendous need for help — and a tremendous desire to provide that help.

But those who have dealt with disasters before say people need to be careful about how they contribute to disaster relief, and when. Cash donations are almost always preferred over items — such as blankets, clothing and stuffed animals — often sent into overwhelmed disaster areas by well-meaning donors.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

For the past six months, Chastity Kerr has lived at a 27-bed family shelter in Hartford, Conn., with her three children, ages 14, 11, and 8.

Dan Moyle / Creative Commons

A longtime observer of Connecticut’s economy says plans to cut education grants to towns as a way of balancing the state budget could end up damaging the housing market. 

Connecticut lawmakers have overridden Governor Dannel Malloy's veto of a bill that updates a longstanding affordable housing law.

Tony Bacewicz / C-HIT

The scandal around tainted water in Flint, Michigan put the issue of lead poisoning back in the spotlight. Yet lead-based paint remains one of the biggest sources of lead poisoning in the United States, including Connecticut.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

A new type of energy-efficient construction is drawing attention in the U.S. It’s called “passive housing” -- residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use. It’s so efficient that developers can eliminate central heating systems altogether.

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. 

The heat of summer is felt by prospective homeowners in the housing market.

The average price of a single family home in the state has reached $410,000 — up $30,000 from the same time last year.

For many would-be homebuyers, it’s probably a little too hot.

“It’s a little scary the way things fly off the market,” says 34-year-old Katie McGee, a first grade teacher who lives in a small Somerville condo with her 2-year-old daughter and her fiancé, Charlie Linehan, a landscaper in Cambridge.

"I'm afraid to say there are now 79 people that we believe are either dead" or presumed dead in London's Grenfell Tower fire, Metropolitan Police Cmdr. Stuart Cundy said Monday morning, in an update on the huge fire that overtook a 24-story building last week.

"Sadly, for many families, they have lost more than one family member," Cundy said. "This is an incredibly distressing time for all of them."

Comey To Take Center Stage

Jun 8, 2017
Paul Morigi / Brookings Institution

This hour we preview the upcoming Senate Intelligence hearing and the much anticipated testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.

Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal joins us and we dig into the legal repercussions that could follow.

A growing number of homeless veterans are women. But there are few places that specialize in helping them get back on their feet.

Mary Anne Williams

Homeowners whose houses are suffering from crumbling foundations say their plight must not be forgotten in the midst of the state's budget crisis. About 500 homes, mostly in the east of the state have been identified as suffering from the problem, which stems from a corrosive mineral mixed into the concrete. But tens of thousands of homes may eventually be affected. 

M R / Creative Commons

Nearly 1,400 new cases of lead-poisoned children under age 6 were reported in Connecticut in 2015, a slight drop from the year before, but more children showed higher levels of poisoning.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal plans to zero out funding for something called Community Development Block Grants -- money that goes from the federal government to states and municipalities to use as they see fit.

Bart Everson / Creative Commons

Thousands of Connecticut children have elevated levels of lead in their blood. This is often the result of lead dust in the home or in the soil outside.

Mary Anne Williams

Homeowners whose foundations are crumbling because of faulty concrete pleaded with lawmakers Tuesday for help.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

African Americans are a diverse group of people who live in our cities and our suburbs.

This hour, what does it mean to be black in Connecticut?

There's no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country.

Still, many say the problem is invisible to the public.

"It's invisible even to me and I'm looking," says Wick Sloan. He came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston more than a decade ago to teach English full time. He says it felt like he quickly became a part-time social worker, too.

Everyone expects Congress to change the Affordable Care Act, but no one knows exactly how.

The uncertainty has one group of people, the homeless, especially concerned. Many received health coverage for the first time under Obamacare; now they're worried it will disappear.

Joseph Funn, homeless for almost 20 years, says his body took a beating while he lived on the street.

Now, he sees nurse practitioner Amber Richert fairly regularly at the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Baltimore.

Confronting Youth Homelessness

Feb 6, 2017
Steve Hardy / Creative Commons

Year after year, hundreds of thousands of people find themselves homeless in the United States — including the young.

This hour, we explore local efforts to help homeless youth in Connecticut. What kinds of programs are out there to help them to not only find housing but employment, too?

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Do you give money to panhandlers on the street? It can be an uncomfortable decision, when someone who seems in need asks for a handout and you have cash in your wallet. Now cities around the country are trying to give you an alternative; the donation meter. New Haven is the latest to adopt the system.

Gov. Malloy: "I've Had To Do Really Hard Things"

Jan 13, 2017
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dan Malloy faces low approval ratings and a fiscal crisis as he enters his seventh year in office. Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, he said his popularity isn't his main concern in 2017. 

Pages