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Versageek / Creative Commons

Oil and natural gas prices have gone down, but the need for energy assistance in Connecticut has gone up, according to a recent report released by Operation Fuel. The report revealed that 313,000 Connecticut households can't afford their energy bills. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Earlier this month, the Partnership for Strong Communities released its annual report on housing access and affordability in Connecticut. This hour, we find out what it tells us about local housing conditions -- including efforts to end homelessness and increase affordable housing supply across the state. 

Some say the Tiny House movement dates back to 1854 when Henry David Thoreau first described the economy and aesthetics of small home living in "Walden".  But the movement didn't gather much steam until 1998 with the publication of Sarah Susanka's "The Not So Big House" - and itty bitty houses began to literally dot the landscape.  So when we heard about a tiny house in Hampton, NH - that was on wheels, that looked like a steamer trunk, that was made of recycled movie sets - we sent Sean Hurley to find out more. 

A new study challenges the prevailing notion that student debt is the primary reason young adults delay buying a home. The report was co-authored by Dartmouth Sociology Professor Jason Houle and University of Wisconsin Social Work Professor Lawrence Berger. It’s published by Third Way, which describes itself as a centrist think tank.

Jonathan Olson

Since March, advocates, activists, lawmakers, and service providers have been tirelessly working to advance the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Connecticut. Their efforts were part of statewide 100-Day Challenges led by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and Journey Home of Hartford. 

GotCredit / Creative Commons

According to a 2014 report, more than 300,000 Connecticut households struggle to pay their energy bills. In fact, the average low-income household owes rougly $2,560 more in annual energy bills than it can actually afford.

Marc Brüneke / Creative Commons

A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month shows a growing number of U.S. cities are making it illegal to hand out food to the homeless. Since January 2013, 21 cities have passed legislation restricting food distribution. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.

Tammy Strobel / Flickr Creative Commons

I live in a small house on a street of big houses. And when I say big, some of the houses on my street are 7,000 and 8,000 square feet. A big house signifies an important person, right? The governor lives in a mansion. The Archbishop of Hartford lives down the street from him in a house that's even bigger.

Saying Goodbye at the Nursing Home

Jun 3, 2014
Ari Bakker / Creative Commons

My meeting can’t wait
so I’ve kissed the top of your head,
both cheeks
and like the Eskimos do.

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).

Jack Newton/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

Traditions can be fun and make life feel better. Join our brainstorming session to become inspired to start your own traditions, from apple-picking; the holiday party; the army buddy reunion; the Vermont Mud Race; to maple syrup on the first snow; and sampling away at The Faith Middleton Show's annual Martini Competition. (Do you know how strange it is to refer to yourself in the third person?)

Flickr Creative Commons, Public Domain Photos

Flickr Creative Commons, Public Domain Photos

Lawn Gone!

Jun 19, 2013
Ian T. McFarland/flickr creative commons

We'll look at the basics of replacing a traditional lawn with a wide variety of easy-care, no-mow, drought-tolerant, money-saving options that will appeal to today's busy, eco-conscious homeowner. Whether you’re a beginner or expert gardener, green thumb or black, Pam Penick's Lawn Gone! provides realistic choices, achievable plans, and simple instructions for renovating your yard from start to finish.

Diane Orson

The US Supreme Court still has to rule on several major cases before the end of the term. Same-sex couples across the country are waiting for a decision on The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.  A report now on how the DOMA ruling may affect one Connecticut family.

Under Connecticut law, same-sex couples can marry and adopt children.  But under DOMA and in the eyes of the federal government same sex marriage is not valid.

"This is my room, the best room in the house because I sleep in it!"

Lawn Gone!

Apr 22, 2013
Ian T. McFarland/flickr creative commons

We'll look at the basics of replacing a traditional lawn with a wide variety of easy-care, no-mow, drought-tolerant, money-saving options that will appeal to today's busy, eco-conscious homeowner. Whether you’re a beginner or expert gardener, green thumb or black, Pam Penick's Lawn Gone! provides realistic choices, achievable plans, and simple instructions for renovating your yard from start to finish.

White Flower Farm

Apr 22, 2013
John/flickr creative commons

Discover which beautiful plants are as easy as they are gorgeous. One of the country's top experts from White Flower Farm will help snazz up your yard, and offer a gift certificate to you, our listener.

Susan Campbell

The Hartford Homeless Outreach Team heads out every Thursday to check-in on Hartford's homeless population and hand out lunches. They go out early before the homeless leave their makeshift abodes for the day.

Is Martha Stewart History?

Apr 5, 2013

With over thirty books published and millions of magazines devoured by fans eager to organize their homes, prepare delicious meals, and simply be crafty, Martha Stewart has become known as the most successful modern domestic advisor in the United States.  But domestic advice of the kind Stewart doles out in her television appearances, print, and internet publications is not something new.  Domestic advisors have long had a place in America’s kitchens and homes and have been providing women with guidance on how to manage their homes and cook appropriate meals for hundreds of years. 

As Economy Recovers, Renters Left Behind

Mar 12, 2013

More and more Americans are renting instead of owning homes, and rents are skyrocketing. New national data show that some of the families struggling the most live here in Connecticut.

Connecticut has been known for its high cost of living for decades. But research just released from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition shows that situation is getting worse, especially for the neediest families. While wages have hardly budged, housing costs have soared for renters, since demand for rental apartments is so high.  

Steve Zind (VPR)

It’s been one year since Hurricane Irene tore up the Eastern Seaboard, finally hitting Connecticut as a Tropical Storm. While the damage and power outages in this state were substantial, the impact was nothing like that in Vermont, where heavy rains flooded creeks and streams, blocking roads for days and washing away buildings across the state. As Steve Zind of Vermont Public Radio reports, the recovery effort is ongoing. But it’s not just about rebuilding…it’s also planning for future storms. 

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 44

Apr 29, 2012
Gary Choronzy

We've been hearing great things about Olde School Saloon and Bistro in New Haven from some of our News 8 friends, and decided to record episode 44 during their jazz brunch on a recent Sunday afternoon.

The next thing we knew, Chef/Owner Jeff Arnold was showing us a 19th century basement space that proved irresistible to our guest conversationalists - Rob Oliver, John Broker, Joe Amarante, Gary Choronzy and Marianne O’Hare.

JeffreyTurner, Creative Commons

The housing crisis that has cost millions of Americans their homes.  In fact, banks have foreclosed on more than 4 million homes since the crisis began in 2007. Almost 6 million are still in danger of foreclosure, and some analysts say 2012 could be the worst year yet.

Energy Efficiency Funding In Jeopardy

Apr 3, 2012

About half the homes in Connecticut are heated with oil, now at more than $4 a gallon. But if those homeowners want help lowering their oil bills through energy efficiency, they could find themselves frozen out of a funding program unless the legislature takes action.

That’s the sound of a large fan set in the frame of Lars Helgeson’s kitchen door in Madison. Technicians from an energy services company are using it to figure out where air leaks are and fix them. 

Amid the push for federal health care reform has been a push for more home visiting programs that help increase access to care for those in need. One such program was born in Connecticut almost seventeen years ago. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on the Nurturing Families Network, which provides home visits to young mothers.

(Child's voice yells “Marta!”)

Nathan Carreno is three and a half years old. He’s greeting Marta Santana, a home visitor with the Nurturing Families Network.

SANTANA: "Hi! How are you?"

NATHAN: "Good."

Russell Darnell/flickr creative commons

Margot Livesey talks about her popular new novel, The Flight of Gemma Hardy. And architect Duo Dickinson explains how to stay in the house you're in using novel ways to change it.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 35

Feb 26, 2012
Kim Grehn

We laughed a lot in Episode 35, recorded on a bright sunny day at the recently reopened Stone House in Guilford. The Stone House took a direct hit from Irene but is open for business and looking better than ever. The views - and the food - were SPECTACULAR, and we had conversations about about coping with difficult times, handling the smaller emergencies and prioritizing home improvement projects.

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