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housing

Home Equity Helping People Build Household Wealth

Nov 24, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

Remember the housing crisis? Well, for many American homeowners, it’s now squarely in the rear-view mirror. A report from RealtyTrac finds that the percentage of homeowners who are underwater — meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth — has fallen to about 10 percent. It was 28 percent at its peak in 2012. The main reason: home prices have been rising, for years, helped by low mortgage rates. So homeowners have been able to build wealth through the equity they have in their homes.

Mary Anne Williams

Two state legislators want to allow towns to give loans to homeowners who have crumbling concrete foundations. Hundreds of homes in eastern Connecticut have been affected by the fault, which is caused by a mineral called pyrrhotite mixed into the concrete aggregate.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Over the last week or so, your inbox and mailbox has been filling with requests for donations from non-profit organizations. Oxfam International, Doctors Without Borders, your local food bank, and homeless shelter all depend on year-end generosity to meet their budgets.

Rosewoman / Creative Commons

When was the last time you changed your address? Well, if you're like most Americans, it probably wasn't that long ago. According to the Census Bureau, the average U.S. resident will move 11.7 times in his or her lifetime. This hour, we take a closer look at why we're on the move so much. What does it take to truly feel at home where you live? It's something journalist Melody Warnick writes about in her new book called This Is Where You Belong

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Bobby Allyn

Developer Leo Voloshin is standing in front of an empty church in Philadelphia’s trendy Fishtown neighborhood.

“It has tall majestic spires. It has a beautiful green patina,” Voloshin said. “The church is just awe-inspiring.”

The 1880s church, St. Laurentious, the oldest Polish church in the city, has been sitting unused since 2013.

“You walk in and look up and the baby-blue ceiling is really just brings it all to life,” he said.

Brian Foley / Hartford Police Department

Hartford police say about 30 people are injured after a crowded deck collapsed at an off-campus party near Trinity College. No major injuries have been reported.

Hartford Fire Department

A state court judge has ruled that the city of Hartford owes more than $6 million to tenants who were eligible for -- but did not get -- housing relocation assistance after the city ordered them to leave their homes. Praising the decision, attorneys for the tenants said the administration of former Mayor Pedro Segarra all but ignored state law.

Rosewoman / Creative Commons

When was the last time you changed your address? Well, if you're like most Americans, it probably wasn't that long ago. According to the Census Bureau, the average U.S. resident will move 11.7 times in his or her lifetime. This hour, we take a closer look at why we're on the move so much. What does it take to truly feel at home where you live? It's something journalist Melody Warnick writes about in her new book called This Is Where You Belong

Connecticut State Police

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house to explode in Connecticut, injuring seven people, including four children, and sending debris flying.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Connecticut-based health insurer Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.

Fuse / Thinkstock

Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose a bit over four percent in June, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, a banking and real estate trade publisher.

For American consumers there's a bit of economic silver-lining in the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union last month: Lower mortgage rates.

In the week after Brexit, the interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to their lowest levels in more than 3 years. And that spurred a boom in mortgage applications that, experts expect, will continue.

Spencer Cullen is a loan originator for CRM Lending in Tysons Corner, Va. Since the Brexit vote, he's seen business increase 60 percent to 70 percent.

Across Vermont, organizations are experimenting with new models to combat homelessness. In some communities they're being welcomed, but in others, there's been push back.

Joe Mabel / Creative Commons

Twenty-one Connecticut municipalities are receiving state grants to help improve affordable housing stock.

Chicagoland Concrete, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

Homeowners in Connecticut are getting some help for crumbling foundations.

mark biddle / Creative Commons

  

Before she started work at New Haven’s Columbus House as senior manager of housing services, Cathleen Meaden’s job was housing people whose crimes were seemingly unforgivable.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The State of Connecticut operates a Veterans’ Home on 92 acres in Rocky Hill. Many of its residents were once homeless or in danger of homelessness. But a lot of the buildings are outdated and in need of major improvements.

This hour, we find out what a recent consultant's report says about ways the state can better use the property to serve veterans. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

There's a shell of an old Pontiac car dealership at a corner of West Hartford’s industrial district that to the public eye -- and perhaps the public’s ire -- is littered with trash and weeds, with four lanes of fast traffic rushing by.

McBeth / Creative Commons

Many of America's young adults appear to be in no hurry to move out of their old bedrooms. For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When state governments  -- in Maine, Utah, and elsewhere  -- want to learn about ending homelessness, they often look to Connecticut.

Zillow

The boss is moving out alongside the company. The Connecticut house of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt has been listed for sale. 

A new report by the Connecticut Coalition To End Homelessness says homelessness in the state is at an all-time low, with fewer than 4,000 homeless people in Connecticut since counts started in 2007.

Every year the Coalition does what’s called a point-in-time count, where they count all homeless people in the state on a given night.

Tony Bacewicz / C-HIT

Nearly 60,000 Connecticut children under age six were reported with lead exposure in 2013, and an additional 2,275 children had high enough levels of the toxin in their blood to be considered poisoned.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Tax liens might not sound like the "sexiest" topic. But for some property owners, they can mean the difference between keeping or losing a home.

This hour, we take a look at how these liens -- and, more specifically, the sales of these liens -- are affecting some of Connecticut’s most financially vulnerable residents. It’s the latest in our ongoing series with WNPR contributor Susan Campbell. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As a small boy, Robert Cotto, Jr. moved with his family to Hartford, where most of his extended family was living in the city’s North End.

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