Buffalo spent $4.3 million in federal funds to rehabilitate 10 houses

A Buffalo News investigation found that the city of Buffalo used $4.3 million in federal anti-poverty funds to rehab 10 houses in historic neighborhoods. Buffalo spends, on average, at least twice what neighboring cities report spending per house under the same federal program. And it rehabs a fraction of the number of houses the other…

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Buildings across U.S. are wrapped in same panels that fueled deadly London fire

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal found that thousands of buildings across the United States and around the world are wrapped in the same exterior panels that fueled the deadly fire in London’s Grenfell Tower. Typically made of polyethylene, these panels are highly combustible and safety experts warn that they shouldn’t be used in…

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Property tax system hurt the poor and helped the rich

An unprecedented analysis by the Chicago Tribune reveals that for years, the Cook County property tax system created an unequal burden on residents, handing huge financial breaks to homeowners who are well-off while punishing those who have the least, particularly people living in minority communities. The problem lies with the fundamentally flawed way the county…

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Fight for your country, lose the bidding war for a house

The ultra-competitive housing market in Washington’s Puget Sound area means some buyers are left in the lurch. The News Tribune found that real estate agents are advising their sellers to avoid VA home loans because of real and perceived problems with that type of financing. Some lenders, buyers, and real estate agents say the practice…

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Lead’s Hidden Toll

Reuters continues its reporting exposing hidden lead hazards nationwide in a 2-part series, Lead’s Hidden Toll. Part 1, constructed from previously undisclosed data, reveals how lead afflicts neighborhoods rich and poor in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous. Findings surprised local leaders, moving them to immediate reforms. Part 2 reveals how Reuters has now…

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Navajo Housing Authority squandering tens of millions of dollars

The Arizona Republic’s six-part investigation into the Navajo Housing Authority has found huge financial mismanagement of taxpayer dollars on one of the poorest Native American reservations in the country. Included in the findings: More than $100 million that went to projects that never housed anyone; $152 million spent on just 26 new houses; and scores…

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Texas officials stunned to learn of city housing authority and its problems

When the mayor of Kyle, Texas received a letter about mismanagement in the city’s independent housing authority, he was surprised — mostly because he had no idea the agency existed. The letter was sent by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regional office in San Antonio and obtained by The Austin American-Statesman. The paper…

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North Carolina falls behind on efforts to reform mental health treatment

Halfway through its effort to reform mental health treatment for those stuck in adult care homes, North Carolina is struggling to achieve goals detailed in a civil rights settlement with the federal government, according to a report by WRAL. As of July 1, North Carolina should have 1,166 people out of adult care facilities and…

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Landlords buy homes with cash, leave taxpayers to pay the costs

In Milwaukee, some landlords are using properties for profit and then leaving after they stop paying taxes. Once they leave, it’s up to the city to sell the homes at low prices or have the taxpayers pay to repair or tear them down, according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In the meantime,…

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How safe are Florida’s domestic violence shelters?

An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times questions the safety of some domestic violence shelters in Florida, including The Spring of Tampa Bay. The nonprofit behind the shelter is one of the most revered in the area and supported by many of Tampa’s elite.  The Times uses the story of a little girl molested at a…

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