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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.

Harriet Jones

For many people struggling without power, the answer has been to find a hotel room and hunker down. That’s meant a rush for the shoreline hotels and guest houses in Southeastern Connecticut, which was unscathed in the storm. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Courtesy of Friends of Fisher House Connecticut

Most people have heard of Ronald McDonald houses that provide a place for sick children and their families to stay while seeking medical treatment. But chances are you haven't heard of a Fisher House. Now there's an effort to build one in West Haven.

respres, creative commons

Hurricane Irene, and the string of devastating weather events across the country have taken our focus away from another crisis.

Depending on the analysis you believe, we’re either still in recession, about to head back into another one, or in a painfully slow recovery.  

The prime cause of this economic catastrophe has been known for quite some time - the sub-prime housing bubble that burst sending property values plummeting - and millions into foreclosure.  

West End, Park-Like Setting, Needs Work

Aug 1, 2011
State of Connecticut

As tempers flare over the contentious vote and revote on a labor concession deal, one of the questions that occasionally pops up on comment boards is this: Is the Malloy Administration really spending money to redecorate the governor's mansion as it is demanding labor givebacks?

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

The city of Dallas has been testing these changes and Jeff Cohen from member station WNPR has this report.

Flickr user Payton Chung

Despite less than six months in office, Governor Dannel Malloy was a crowd favorite at Tuesday's transit forum in Hartford.

One of his fans was Floyd Lapp, director of the Southwestern Regional Planning Agency.

"Here comes another bouquet for former mayor Malloy," Lapp said.

Lapp was one of many at Tuesday's forum who said Governor Malloy’s experience rebuilding the area around Stamford's train station while mayor should serve the state well.

Chion Wolf Photo

An East Granby woman was close to losing her home after falling behind on mortgage payments while she was unemployed.

Joan Wright-Lee found a new job but needed to raise $6000 to keep her home.
That's when her friends stepped in and created a website soliciting donations online. And through the power of Facebook, her story has been shared around the Internet thanks to her Facebook friends who posted her website address on their profile walls.

Wright-Lee spoke to WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil about this unconventional way to avoid foreclosure.

Flickr Creative Commons, vixjohnson

"Street newspapers" are designed, written and sold by the homeless. They are small, usually no more than a few pages, and feature articles, photographs and poetry about what it's like to live in shelters or on the street. They're easy to find in cities like Portland, Oregon or Providence and as WNPR's Patrick Skahill reports, now Hartford has its own street newspaper.

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Recent reports show a 3% increase of people in shelters in Connecticut from 2009 to 2010. Of this population, more than half of all families and 40% of single adults in shelters report being homeless for first time  And in these harsh winter months, even overflow homeless shelters are overflowing. 

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Billings Forge is reshaping Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood through the arts, historic preservation, farm to table food, and affordable housing.

(photo: Hartford.gov)

The long-vacant hotel at the center of downtown Hartford's Constitution Plaza may soon have a new use. The city says the hotel commonly known as the Sonesta has sat vacant for at least a decade.  Now, a New York-based development groups says it plans to buy the building this week, invest as much as $20 million dollars, and turn the building into high-end apartments.

Joseph Klaynberg runs Wonder Works Construction and Development.  He says this will be his first investment property in Hartford.

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