WNPR

Housing and Homelessness

Housing issues affect everyone in Connecticut, from those who are searching for a safe place to live, to those who may find it increasingly difficult to afford a place they already call home.

With generous support from the Melville Charitable Trust, WNPR and Susan Campbell are covering Connecticut's housing and homelessness issues in a series that examines how residents are handling the challenges they face. We look at the trends that matter most right now, and tell stories that help bring the issues to light.

Contact Susan by email at slcampbell417 at gmail.com.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

African Americans are a diverse group of people who live in our cities and our suburbs.

This hour, what does it mean to be black in Connecticut?

There's no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country.

Still, many say the problem is invisible to the public.

"It's invisible even to me and I'm looking," says Wick Sloan. He came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston more than a decade ago to teach English full time. He says it felt like he quickly became a part-time social worker, too.

Everyone expects Congress to change the Affordable Care Act, but no one knows exactly how.

The uncertainty has one group of people, the homeless, especially concerned. Many received health coverage for the first time under Obamacare; now they're worried it will disappear.

Joseph Funn, homeless for almost 20 years, says his body took a beating while he lived on the street.

Now, he sees nurse practitioner Amber Richert fairly regularly at the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Baltimore.

Steve Hardy / Creative Commons

Year after year, hundreds of thousands of people find themselves homeless in the United States — including the young.

This hour, we explore local efforts to help homeless youth in Connecticut. What kinds of programs are out there to help them to not only find housing but employment, too?

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Do you give money to panhandlers on the street? It can be an uncomfortable decision, when someone who seems in need asks for a handout and you have cash in your wallet. Now cities around the country are trying to give you an alternative; the donation meter. New Haven is the latest to adopt the system.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dan Malloy faces low approval ratings and a fiscal crisis as he enters his seventh year in office. Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, he said his popularity isn't his main concern in 2017. 

On Thursday Governor Dannel Malloy said Connecticut has become the first state in the country to match all the people it has identified as chronically homeless with housing.

Outgoing Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro's office overlooks a stretch of the Washington, D.C., waterfront where several high-rent apartment buildings are being built, in a city where affordable housing is in short supply and homelessness is a big problem.

These are some of the same issues his successor will have to deal with as head of an agency that provides housing aid to 10 million low-income families.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

One cold night late in November, Hartford police officers Joe Walsh and K9 officer Alfredo Pizarro called in a 10-27, a community service call, from Bushnell Park.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

African Americans are a diverse group of people who live in our cities and our suburbs.

This hour, what does it mean to be black in Connecticut?

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Westbrook Village and Bowles Park are two old, falling-down public housing developments in the city of Hartford. For over a decade, there have been efforts to tear them down and build something new on their almost 130 acres near the West Hartford line. There’s about to be some movement. 

Rosie O'Beirne / Creative Commons

Homelessness among children and youth in Connecticut has increased by over 11 percent since 2012, according to new data by the U.S. Department of Education. And this is happening while adult homelessness is falling.

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Connecticut is making significant progress toward ending chronic homelessness. 

Dr. Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, spoke at Yale on Thursday evening. Carson was invited by a student group that promotes diverse ideas on campus.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in his incoming administration.

"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said in a statement released Monday. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities."

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

BrianSwan / Creative Commons

Connecticut is home to some of the wealthiest Americans in the country, and yet its cities are among the nation’s poorest. Some say the first step to ending this inequality is to spread the wealth from thriving suburban areas to struggling urban areas.

This hour, we talk regionalization – will Connecticut ever embrace it as the state struggles with constant deficits?

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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.

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