housing

Energy
6:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Heating New England Homes: The Good And Bad News

Low heating oil prices mean New Englanders don't have to bundle up at home this year, but they will have to watch their rising electric bills.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 8:34 am

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces. But cheaper heating oil is refilling consumers' pockets just as high electric prices are emptying them out.

For example, a heating oil truck delivers 600 gallons of heating oil every two weeks to an old, four-story brick building in Concord, N.H. At last year's oil prices, each refill would have cost around $2,200. Right now, it's more than $300 cheaper.

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Economy
6:21 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Mortgage Giants Ease Down Payments For First-Time Homebuyers

A new directive from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will allow first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 3 percent.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:05 pm

A federal directive will go into effect Saturday making it easier for some Americans to come up with a down payment to buy a house.

The vast majority of home loans are guaranteed by the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The regulator in charge of Fannie and Freddie will allow first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 3 percent.

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Higher Education
9:43 am
Tue December 9, 2014

UConn in Negotiations to Buy Storrs Hotel

The Nathan Hale Inn is already more than half-filled with student housing.
University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is in negotiations to buy a hotel in Storrs and eventually turn it into a student dormitory.

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Bridgeport
12:20 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Ex-Worker at Bridgeport Housing Authority Sues, Claiming Fraud

Subsidized apartment housing in Bridgeport.
Credit City of Bridgeport

An ex-employee has sued the Bridgeport Housing Authority, claiming she was fired to cover up $2 million in fraud and mismanagement she discovered. 

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Development Plans
4:49 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Development on Former New Haven Coliseum Site Gets $21.5 Million State Boost

Gov. Dannel Malloy announces a state investment in New Haven's Downtown Crossing.
Paul Bass New Haven Independent

Governor Malloy announced on Thursday a $21.5 million investment in phase two of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing plan.

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Sandy Recovery
7:07 am
Thu October 30, 2014

After The Waves, Staten Island Homeowner Takes Sandy Buyout

Stephen Drimalas stands outside his former home in Staten Island's Ocean Breeze neighborhood. He rebuilt his home after Superstorm Sandy but recently decided to sell it to the state of New York.
Jennifer Hsu WNYC

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 8:59 am

Two years after Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast, hundreds of Staten Islanders are deciding whether to sell their shorefront homes to New York state, which wants to knock them down and let the empty land act as a buffer to the ocean.

Stephen Drimalas was one Staten Islander faced with this tough decision. He lived in a bungalow not far from the beach in the working-class neighborhood of Ocean Breeze. He barely escaped Sandy's floodwaters with his life.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Connecticut's Slow Housing Recovery

Deb Chamberlain.
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.

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Zoning the Morning Star
5:38 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Developer Withdraws Request to Rezone "Satan's Kingdom"

A plan to turn a 60 acre plot in "Satan's Kingdom" into an industrial park hit a snag on Thursday, when the developer pulled the plug.
Wikimedia Commons

Allan Borghesi wanted to rezone about 60 acres in New Hartford and Canton from "residential" to "industrial" and, earlier this summer, it looked like the deal was a sure bet. New Hartford signed off on the proposal in June, but opposition in Canton grew in the interim -- organizing itself on Facebook and through petitions. Now, Borghesi has withdrawn his request.

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Cities
4:13 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Some On Staten Island Opt For Buyout Of 'Houses That Don't Belong'

New York state is buying homes like this one in Staten Island's Fox Beach neighborhood as part of a Hurricane Sandy recovery project in the hopes that demolishing them will help nature return and provide a barrier to future storm surges.
Matthew Schuerman WNYC

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:30 am

Staten Island's Fox Beach neighborhood used to be a working-class area with about 180 homes, mostly small bungalows. Fox Beach is — or rather was — a few hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean, and after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, homeowners decided their neighborhood was dangerous in terms of natural disasters and too expensive because of the rising cost of flood insurance.

So the state has been tearing down the homes.

Bill Bye's home at 16 Kissam Ave. was a recent one to go.

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Zoning the Morning Star
1:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Environmental Worries Pepper Zoning Debate in "Satan's Kingdom"

A proposed industrial development could rezone nearly 60 acres in Canton and New Hartford's Satan's Kingdom.
Wikimedia Commons

A proposed industrial development on 60 acres near the Farmington River is generating pushback from residents in New Hartford and Canton.

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WAMC News
12:15 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Extensive Makeover Announced For Downtown Apartment Complex

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speaks during the unveiling of plans for a major renovation to a 280-unit downtown apartment complex. Listening to the mayor are Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy ( at far left), and Erik Dowling of the SilverBrick Group, the developers.

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:26 pm

A New York City-based developer unveiled plans today for a major renovation to an apartment complex in downtown Springfield.  The project was hailed by city officials as another big step in downtown’s  revitalization.

Officials with the SilverBrick group outlined plans for what they said would be a $6 million renovation of the 280-unit complex that fronts Main Street.  The extensive makeover will include luxury amenities intended to persuade people to pay market-rate rents to live in the urban center.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut's Slow Housing Recovery

Deb Chamberlain.
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.

Read more
Consumers
3:44 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Many Homeowners Still Qualify For Mortgage Relief

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says many homeowners who could qualify to refinance their mortgages under HARP are suspicious.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am

The financial crisis pushed millions of Americans from their homes. And housing advocates complain that the government did more to prop up big banks on Wall Street than it did to help average people on Main Street.

But many of those people on Main Street could still qualify for a government program to help them save money by refinancing their mortgages.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Living Small and Smart: The Tiny House Movement

Credit 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.

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Subprime Mortgages
7:53 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Pay $7 Billion To Resolve Mortgage Probe

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:53 am

Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The deal covers mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008, the company said in a statement on its website.

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Courts
6:51 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

SunTrust To Pay Nearly $1 Billion For Mortgage Practices

SunTrust has agreed to pay $968 million as part of a settlement with the government over charges that it failed to comply with standards required for federally backed mortgages.

The settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Justice Department and other agencies includes money for homeowners and a requirement that the company improve its procedures for mortgage loans and foreclosures.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Connecticut First
4:42 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

New Metro North Power Substation in Service; Malloy Wants Teacher's Retirement Board to Explain Find

A fifth new power supply substation has been put into service on Metro-North’s New Haven rail line. Officials say it will add redundancy to help avoid electrical outages. Governor Malloy and state transportation officials toured the New Haven Rail Yard today. It’s being upgraded and expanded over several years costing $1.15 billion dollars.

Governor Malloy Wants Answers Into Funds Owed from Teachers' Retirement Board

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Code Switch
1:23 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

The Desire For A Reckoning Meets The Wish For A Reset

Since 1989, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has introduced into each session of Congress a bill called HR 40, Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 11:45 am

The title of Ta-Nehisi Coates' much-discussed cover story at The Atlantic, "The Case for Reparations," might be something of a misnomer.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Obama To Nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For Housing Secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro delivers the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012. President Obama is expected to announce Castro's nomination to become housing secretary on Friday.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 9:01 am

A White House official said Thursday that President Obama will tap San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to become housing secretary and Shaun Donovan, his current housing chief, to run the budget office.

A formal announcement is scheduled to be made on Friday afternoon.

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Mortgage Crisis
1:33 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Homes in Hartford Top List of "Underwater" Cities

In Hartford, more than half of homes are underwater.
allnightavenue Creative Commons

Hartford has the highest rate of underwater mortgages in the country, according to a new report that says communities of color are most likely to owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. But the city administration disputes the data on which the study is based.

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Connecticut First
5:12 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Malloy Gets Affordable Housing Award; UConn Department of Defense Award

Governor Dannel Malloy is being honored in Washington, D.C. for his efforts to bolster affordable housing in Connecticut. The National Low Income Housing Coalition presented Malloy with the Edward W. Brook Housing Leadership Award on Tuesday at the group’s annual Housing Leadership Awards Reception.

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Connecticut First
4:33 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Fracking Protests; High Chances of "Sneeze" This Spring; Metro-North Update

Hundreds of advocates for prohibiting the storage of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it’s called, delivered petitions with over 5,600 signatures to lawmakers at a rally on Wednesday at the LOB. Though Connecticut doesn’t have the natural resource deposits to engage in the process of digging for natural gas,  many fear that companies seeking to store the waste created by the process will make their way to into Connecticut from outside the state. They want Governor Dannel Malloy and lawmakers to prohibit it.

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Real Estate
9:29 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Sale in Greenwich of What May Be the Most Expensive Single-Family Home in U.S.

The view from the Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich.
realtor.com

When the Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich went on the market last spring at an asking price of $190 million dollars, it was the most expensive single-family home ever to hit the American market. Many people thought it wouldn’t close at nine figures. But it has.

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Connecticut First
5:54 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Rowland in Federal Court; GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off

Former Connecticut governor John Rowland has pleaded not guilty to federal charges. For the second time in a decade Rowland is facing political corruption charges. Just a week ago Rowland resigned from his radio talk show and late yesterday was indicted on seven counts by a federal grand jury in New Haven.

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Home Sales
9:58 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Connecticut Housing Market Posts Best Year Since 2005

Governor Dannel Malloy and his wife Cathy were one of the families to place their home on the market in 2013.
Credit CMLS

Connecticut's housing market continued to improve in January, and market-watchers said it's possible the state could see big gains in the spring selling season.

The state also saw distinct improvement in its housing market activity for the full year of 2013, with sales up six percent and prices rising 8.3 percent over the year. The numbers come from the Warren Group, a real estate data firm, and it marks the best full year results for the Connecticut market since 2005, before the market crash.

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Housing
1:31 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Cuts Funding for Agencies That Provide Housing Support for the Severely Mentally Ill

Housing in Stamford.
Credit Carmine Salvatore/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has made a funding cut to housing that supports those with severe mental illness. Agencies that serve these clients said they'll have to look for creative ways to make up the difference.

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Need for housing
3:55 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Talks About Mental Health Priorities

Gov. Dannel Malloy talks about his mental health priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to commit more than $7 million to mental health services annually.  The announcement comes as Malloy continues to roll out his agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

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Economic Development
3:29 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Total Mortgage Gets State Funding, Pledges New Jobs

John Walsh, president and CEO of Total Mortgage Services.
Credit CT-N

Total Mortgage Services has announced a deal with the state of Connecticut to expand its headquarters in Milford. The company said it will create 140 new jobs in the town, doubling its Connecticut workforce over five years.

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Public Housing
5:30 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Hartford Housing Authority Scraps Plans For Major Development

Dwayne Patterson stands outside his apartment building at Bowles Park in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last summer, we told you the story of plans to knock down two of the biggest and oldest public housing complexes remaining in the city of Hartford. Officials at the Hartford Housing Authority hoped that developers would think big when it came to what's next.

But it turns out they didn't think big enough. 

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