Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "housing" ...

  • Subsidized Squalor

    The residents of Richmond’s public housing had given up. They used to speak up when things got bad. But they’d long ago stopped believing anyone would listen. They resigned themselves to sharing their bedrooms with cockroaches and bedbugs and ceding their common areas to criminals. Deep down, the frustration simmered. It finally came spilling out with fury after The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Amy Julia Harris exposed the squalid conditions in Richmond public housing, giving those residents the voice they’d lost.
  • Shadow Campus

    The series found that Boston colleges have added thousands of students without enough housing to accommodate them all, pushing students into dangerously overcrowded apartments in surrounding neighborhoods and putting students' lives at risk. A Globe team discovered that overcrowded apartments were rampant in student neighborhoods, including many that were firetraps or riddled with pests, broken locks and other hazards. Local colleges reneged on promises to building more housing and steered students to one of the city's most notorious landlords. Local housing regulators seemed powerless or unwilling to tackle the issue. And families were gradually replaced by absentee landlords, changing the character of key parts of the city.
  • No Vacancy

    The story explored why tens of thousands of Illinois families cannot get on waiting lists for subsidized housing. Every year, housing authorities around the state close their waiting lists or keep them closed because of the heavy number of low-income people seeking affordable housing.
  • Iowa Juvenile Home

    The stories initially examined the illegal use of physical restraints and long-term isolation cells at the Iowa Juvenile Home, an unlicensed and largely unregulated state-run facility that provides housing, schooling and treatment for children with serious behavioral problems. The Register discovered that state workers were routinely confining children as young as 13 to unfurnished, 10-foot-by-12-foot concrete-block isolation cells in the basement of the home’s schoolhouse. One girl spent almost a full year in one such cell. Court records showed the home had been using long-term isolation, sometimes in direct violation of a judge’s order, for at least 17 years. Former residents of the home, and their legal advocates, agreed to speak to the Register on the record, and on video, about the isolation cells and the manner in which they were used. Over the next five months,the Register published a string of exclusives that uncovered other abuses and failings within the home, leading to the governor's decision in December to close the 50-year-old facility.
  • Free to kill: A ruthless inmate, a lack of discipline, an avoidable death

    The inmate accused of murdering a correctional officer at a federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania in February 2013 should have been in restricted housing at the time for serious misconduct, but officials twice reversed those sanctions and kept him in the general population.
  • 43 years, 20 properties

    According to the St. Louis County Assessor’s Office, Webster University owns 20 taxable properties in Webster Groves — 11 of which are on a street adjacent to the university. As distrust between residents and the university has grown, the reporting done by myself and a colleague provided accurate and contextual information among the rumors and hyperbole.
  • Deals for Developers, Cash for Campaigns

    Construction cranes can be seen throughout Washington, D.C. Less visible are the symbiotic relationships between land developers and city officials awarding tax breaks and discounted land deals. Those government subsidies are meant to revive neighborhoods, and to create jobs and affordable housing. But in some cases, the benefits never materialized, or the subsidies simply weren’t needed. And what began as a targeted economic development tool now looks to some like government hand outs that could have paid for other city services. A WAMU investigation found the D.C. City Council awarded $1.7 billion in real estate subsidies to 133 groups in the past decade — and more than a third of the subsidies went to ten developers that donated the most campaign cash over that time. What’s more, less than five percent of the subsidies went to the city’s poorest areas with a fourth of the city’s population, and developers failed to deliver on pledged public benefits for at least half the projects examined.
  • A Home, But No Help

    As rates of homelessness were soaring in Hillsborough County, the local government’s program for housing the poor was in crisis. It was paying millions of dollars to slumlords who housed the homeless, including veterans and families with small children, alongside sex offenders in filthy, crime-ridden and bug-infested buildings. It was sending the sick and dying to a squalid, unlicensed home where they were abused and they languished without care. It even ensured, through a perverse misuse of a federal reimbursement plan, that a few homeless people who qualified for federal disability money stayed destitute by garnishing most of their government checks. All of this was going on, but nobody --- not top government leaders nor the taxpayers who funded it --- knew the extent of the problems. That all changed when the Tampa Bay Times started reporting on the program. A series of stories by reporters Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia brought greater transparency to local government. The stories resulted in sweeping reforms and gave the area’s vulnerable homeless a voice for the first time in decades.
  • Legacy of Neglect

    The Columbus code-enforcement department is responsible for ensuring that the city’s buildings are safe and sound. But city policies have inspectors chasing minor complaints instead of chronic housing-code offenders. Lax laws and lenient judges have left people living in fear that a sagging porch roof will fall, that the second-story bathroom floor might collapse or that the electrical wiring could be defective. The deaths of a young couple and child on Christmas Eve 2011 exposed significant problems. In the aftermath, the city promised changes but didn’t follow through with substantive reforms, prompting a Dispatch investigation.
  • Best Neighborhoods

    This project used polling to determine what matters to people in choosing a place to live and how much they care about it, then rated those for more than 1,000 Census tracts in the Dallas area and mapped those tracts to the neighborhoods they contained.