housing

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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Architecture
5:25 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Historic House Is Yours Free, But There's A Catch

Architects at Paolasquare International are giving away this historic house in Arlington, Va. for free.
Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

This little house is looking for a home.

In the past five years, 600 single-family homes have been demolished in Arlington, Va., many to make way for larger houses, according to a preservation group. One architectural firm is so determined to save one 1920s Sears kit house from demolition, it's giving the house away for free. But there's a catch: the buyer would need to pay to move it to a new location.

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Housing Crisis
11:28 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Foreclosure Tax Relief Measure Expires

Connecticut officials are campaigning for the extension of a federal tax provision that expired at the end of last year. It's the tax relief provided for distressed families that have to sell their homes at a loss, or who go through a foreclosure.

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These Old Houses
3:29 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Trying to Tackle Blight in Hartford

Mayor Pedro Segarra stands with city staff in front of a recently revamped home.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

In old cities with old housing, blight is a constant concern. Now, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is boosting a program to give residents money to fix up their homes. 

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Where We Live
8:50 am
Mon December 30, 2013

An "Invisible" Problem: Homelessness in Connecticut

Alicia Woodsby
Chion Wolf

“Invisible” is often a term used for homeless youth who fall through the cracks, who lack support and resources. Often, these young people are from minority groups, or are LGBT. Many come out of the foster or juvenile justice system. Fifty percent of them do not have a high school diploma. 

It’s a sad story, and one that is hard to quantify, because there are few hard numbers on how many young people are on the streets. 

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Housing Market
3:26 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Housing Gains Uncertain in 2014

Credit Fuse / Thinkstock

The housing market made strong gains in 2013, but there's a lot of uncertainty about what might happen in 2014.  

Housing prices in Connecticut rose ten percent in 2013, the strongest year since the financial crash, giving an improvement of $25,000 on the median price of a single family home. 

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Homelessness
8:27 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Visiting Hartford's Homeless Population

A dormitory-style home in a truck trailer in Hartford.
Credit Susan Campbell

Frequent WNPR guest and former Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell rode along with the Hartford Homeless Outreach Team early on Thursday morning. She works for Partnership for Strong Communities, which is working to end homelessness.

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Troubled Mortgages
3:08 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:38 pm

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

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Corporate Reputation
6:41 am
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Reportedly To Pay $4 Billion To Mortgage Borrowers

People walk by JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York, in August.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 8:45 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay $4 billion to consumers who were hurt by faulty mortgage underwriting, part of a larger $13 billion deal to settle the bank's liability in the collapse of toxic securities during the housing crisis.

The deal is expected to be announced this week.

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Hartford Development
11:45 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

New Downtown Housing Planned for Old Hartford Buildings

111 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford, one of the buildings in question.
Credit City of Hartford

There are two office buildings in downtown Hartford that have long been vacant. Now, developers are about to buy them and turn them into something the city's core desperately needs: housing.

Hartford's recent wave of downtown investment has yielded a few lessons. One is that the city needs more rental housing downtown. More housing brings more people, and more people are what's needed to make a healthy downtown tick.

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Resilience
5:05 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

How And Where Should We Rebuild After Natural Disasters?

The wreckage in Tacloban, Philippines, on Nov. 16 was overwhelming, after Typhoon Haiyan plowed through.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 6:27 pm

The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.

Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.

How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. The island nation lies in a sort of "typhoon alley," and with climate change and rising sea levels, there are more storms in store.

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Springfield
12:42 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Springfield Sees Renewed Potential for Downtown Market-Rate Housing

Springfield, Massachusetts may see a casino downtown as well as new housing.
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.

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Host's Diary
8:43 am
Tue November 5, 2013

William Randolph Herbst

By Bain News Service, publisher [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Housing Market
3:15 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Connecticut Home Sales Up Again in September

Credit 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.

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Sandy Recovery
8:14 am
Wed October 30, 2013

New Shoreline Fund Targets Homes in the Flood Zone

Flooding in Branford on October 29, 2012.
Credit 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. 

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Redevelopment
7:27 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Hartford Pays for More Apartments at Colt

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced a plan to borrow $5 million and build more apartments at the former Colt factory.
Credit 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.” 

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Courts
8:36 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:59 pm

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.

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Real Estate
11:08 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip After Hitting 4-Year High

A sold sign in Chicago earlier this year.
Scott Olson Getty Images

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

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Where We Live
8:37 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Town Rankings Are In, But Can You Afford to Live Here?

David Fink, Partnership for Strong Communities
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).

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Housing
8:45 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Too Little Affordable Housing in Connecticut, Says Report

An apartment building on Spring Street in Hartford.
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.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:05 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Financial Problems at Work, and at Home, for O'Garro

Earl O'Garro's Marlborough home.
Credit 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

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Housing
3:44 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Boost in Connecticut Home Sales During August

A house in Clinton.
Credit 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.

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