Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing in Hartford’s downtown library, Salvatore Pinna was over the moon. He met a woman. Life could not be sweeter.

The last time we checked on Pinna, he’d just moved into a Hartford apartment after some 20 years on the street – some of that time, literally on the street. 

Creative Commons / redplanet89

The price to put a solar panel on your home has dropped in recent years, spurring a growth in residential solar energy installations. But at least one researcher said consumers still need to be diligent before deciding to put a panel on their house.

After five weeks, Banksy's "bemusement park" art exhibit, Dismaland, is closing permanently. What's more, the anonymous artist announced on Dismaland's website that the structures and material from the park will be sent to a refugee camp in France.

The short announcement read, "All the timber and fixtures from Dismaland are being sent to the 'jungle' refugee camp near Calais to build shelters. No online tickets will be available."

KentWeakley/iStock / Thinkstock

According to an annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Connecticut is home to the eighth-priciest rental market in the nation.

The average amount needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is now a staggering $24.29 per hour. For a person making minimum wage, that means working 106 hours each week. 

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. 

Goody Clancy

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is making efforts to figure out how to develop land in certain parts of the state to encourage more use of public transportation.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today announced funding awards for rental housing development across the state and highlighted a pilot program to open new preschool classrooms.  He did both during a visit to Holyoke. 

Baker announced funding to build or preserve almost 1,500 apartments at 23 projects in 15 communities across the state. He made the announcement at one of the sites chosen—Lyman Terrace, a 76-year-old, 167-unit public housing complex in downtown Holyoke, where tenants fought a plan a few years ago to demolish their homes.

Photo courtesy of Page Technologies

The cities of New Haven and Waterbury and the Connecticut Department of Housing are receiving federal funds to help combat poisoning from lead-based paint in housing.

KentWeakley/iStock / Thinkstock

According to an annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Connecticut is home to the eighth-priciest rental market in the nation.

The average amount needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is now a staggering $24.29 per hour. For a person making minimum wage, that means working 106 hours each week. 

This is the long story of a short street: Schnell Drive, two blocks of brick homes in Arabi, La., just east of New Orleans in St. Bernard Parish.

When we first visited in the fall of 2005, Donald and Colleen Bordelon were often the only two people on Schnell Drive. They had stayed in their home through the storm and the flood, and through the weeks after when the first floor was still filled with water.

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.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

No one is saying that Connecticut is suffering from a housing crisis, but consider this: The state has far too few rental properties, which means those that exist cost more than many residents can afford.

Meanwhile, a giant portion of the state’s work force is at or near retirement, with expected drops in income.

Across Connecticut, abandoned sites are being built back up. It’s complicated and expensive work, but in recent years, the state has put millions of dollars towards breathing new life into the long-forgotten spaces of the industrial era.

KentWeakley/iStock / Thinkstock

The average worker in Connecticut cannot afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment, according to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. A renter must earn $24.29 an hour to afford a two-bedroom in Connecticut according to the NLIHC’s Out of Reach report.

As part of the state budget, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the creation of a rural policy commission in Massachusetts. It continues a longstanding effort to express small town needs in the Boston-centric commonwealth.

Charlie Smart / WNPR

An abandoned factory near downtown Hartford is going to see new life -- as an apartment complex.

Originally built in 1893, the Capewell Horse Nail Factory manufactured nails that attach the metal shoes to horses’ hooves. But the historic 100,000-square-foot building has remained empty since the 1980s.   

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. 

Homeowners interested in switching to solar energy will soon have the option to do so with no upfront costs. The nation’s largest rooftop solar installer is coming to Rhode Island. Starting this week, California-based SolarCity will offer Rhode Islanders loans to buy home solar systems.

Susan Campbell

On April 23, after 20 years on the streets, Salvatore Pinna moved into a Hartford apartment. It was his first ever.

Pinna's is one of the success stories for Greater Hartford’s 100-day challenge to greatly reduce chronic homelessness.

Carlito2000 / Creative Commons

Installers of rooftop solar panels are learning that Connecticut's embrace of solar energy has its limits. Businesses seeking state legislation to streamline local permitting of rooftop solar panels have run into opposition from municipal officials who say proposed rules are a costly mandate. 

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Certain home improvement contractors in Connecticut could soon be obligated to hold liability insurance.

Jeff Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

At the beginning of this century, when tech stocks were hot and dot-coms were appearing everywhere, Yale professor and renowned economist Robert Shiller was already warning of a bubble -- and he was right. Years later, when housing prices were skyrocketing and millions of American were betting big on real estate, Robert Shiller again predicted an impending crisis. Sadly, he was right again.

Now, with the housing market showing signs of improvement, many are getting the sense that we’re finally out woods. And with this feeling returns the idea that buying a home today means financial gains down the road.

Wage theft is rampant in the booming residential construction industry in Massachusetts, according to research from UMass Amherst.

     It has become standard practice in the home building industry in Massachusetts for subcontractors to illegally misclassify workers -- particularly immigrants — as independent contractors. The workers sometimes go weeks without pay, get no compensation for overtime, and are often paid less than they were promised. 

   Tom Juravich, a Umass Amherst labor professor detailed the abuses in a new paper.

Margaret Almon / Creative Commons

The legislature is considering a bill that would regulate how homeowners display their house numbers.

Creative Commons

Despite laws in many states that protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke, exposure remains especially high for children ages three to eleven, African-Americans, and those who live in poverty or rental housing, according to a recent report.

A healthy diet is good for everyone. But as people get older, cooking nutritious food can become difficult and sometimes physically impossible. A pot of soup can be too heavy to lift. And there's all that time standing on your feet. It's one of the reasons that people move into assisted living facilities.

But a company called Chefs for Seniors has an alternative: They send professional cooks into seniors' homes. In a couple of hours they can whip up meals for the week.

Sal Pinna Finally Finds a Home

Apr 16, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

I didn’t think the story would end this way.

Sal Pinna has been homeless for 20 years, since he came to Connecticut from his native Long Island to enroll in a substance abuse program. 

Pinna is a 52-year-old man who loves the Mets, Batman, and Dean Martin. He wants a home, but the myriad forms and appointments that are required have proven to be beyond him. Pinna has diabetes, and he’s been diagnosed with depression, and a few years ago, bipolar disorder. 

Hyland House

Definitively dating an old house can be tricky. Today, we have things like photographs and land records, but how would you figure out a house's age without that kind of stuff? 

Less than three months after the U.S. announced it will ease travel to Cuba, home rental site Airbnb is listing properties in the island nation. The average price for a room or home in Havana is currently $43. The company says it's starting out with more than 1,000 listings.

A look at the offerings Thursday morning found everything from "beautiful colonial rooms for rent in the heart of Havana" for $27 a night to a "a holiday sanctuary" chalet on the outskirts of Havana that can accommodate 10 guests for $1,000. It includes a pool.

How Do You Get an ID When You Have No Home?

Apr 1, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

It was a bitter cold Friday in March, and Sal Pinna was heading into the wind on Main Street in Hartford.

"Cold enough, but I don't feel a thing," Pinna said. "I guess I’m used to it."

Pinna, a Long Island native, has been homeless for 20 years in Connecticut, but he wants very much to get an apartment. He has in his backpack a xeroxed copy of his birth certificate – but that’s not good enough for official paperwork. Without proper identification, Pinna is stuck in shelters, or worse.