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 rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "slumlords" ...

  • SeaTimes: Out of homelessness

    Project Homeless wasn’t conceived as an investigative unit. Reporting on potential solutions to the region’s worsening homelessness was, at least initially, our stated mission. But it became clear soon after I joined the team last year that the agencies and systems that play a role in the region’s response to homelessness have received little scrutiny from the press. So, I started taking a hard look at how they work and how the public money that keeps them running is spent. That's how I found the woman at the center of this story, Carolyn Malone. She was just one of several people I found who used publicly-funded rental housing vouchers, only to end up in a squalid and potentially unsafe rental home. Two of those homes were at one time owned by one of Seattle's worst slumlords.
  • NBC News: Taxpayers Financing Slumlords: Under Ben Carson, more families live in HUD housing that fails health and safety inspections

    In a three-month investigation, NBC News found that a growing number of families – more than 47,000 - were living in horrid conditions subsidized by taxpayers in properties regularly inspected by HUD; after we started asking questions, HUD announced an overhaul of its inspection system and said it is now planning to toughen inspections, which will impact millions of low-income American families.
  • City landlords cash in on rent aid, ignore tax bills

    This entry consists of Christine MacDonald's story "City landlords cash in on rent aid, ignore tax bills," which ran in The Detroit News on Friday, March 28, 2014. The News found that 1 in 4 Detroit landlords getting federal money to rent to poor families through the state’s Section 8 program were property tax deadbeats.
  • 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.
  • War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City

    The hour-long documentary War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City takes an unprecedented look at the impact of corruption on the East St. Louis, Illinois area, one of the poorest and most violent communities in America. The program was broadcast twice during prime time; Tuesday night at 8 pm on August 28, and the following Saturday night at 7 pm. This project was the result of an ongoing decade-long probe of government waste, corruption, police misconduct, and violence in East St. Louis and the surrounding villages by investigative reporter Craig Cheatham. Our documentary begins with a detailed look at police misconduct and corruption, how it has contributed to the breakdown of public safety in the East St. Louis area, and why local politicians tolerated such outrageous behavior by their officers. The second part of our documentary focuses on the impact of derelict and vacant housing, the slumlords who own the property and the people who live in some of the worst housing in the metro area. Our investigation also uncovered new connections between politicians and legendary slumlord Ed Sieron, who was business partners with a longtime mayor. In addition, KMOV revealed that of the 500 mostly rundown properties that Sieron owns in East St. Louis, only 13 were cited for code violations. That lack of accountability for the notorious slumlord, empowered him and made the people living in his homes feel powerless. War Zone also exposes the way East St. Louis communities have sold their economy to vice-driven businesses like strip clubs, liquor stores, a casino, and convenience marts that had a long history of selling illegal synthetic drugs. Our investigation found that nearly all of these businesses failed to employ a significant number of East St. Louis residents, even though they received millions of dollars in tax incentives that are paid by East St. Louis residents. At the same time East St. Louis is handing out tax breaks to wealthy out-of-town businessmen, it repeatedly refused to provide the same tax incentives for local residents who wanted to create family friendly businesses that would employ people living in the East St. Louis area.
  • Lost Among the Ruins

    With at least 100,000 apartment units and more than 500,000 people, "the D.C. Attorney general's office "has prosecuted only four landlords for housing-code violations since 2001, or less than one case per year." In addition, the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs "had no agency-wide process for collecting fines and is owed more than $8.8 million in outstanding fines and penalties in more than 22,000 housing-violation cases." The Legal Times touches on these issues, as well as the story of convicted slumlord David Nuyen, "who is still renting apartment units in D.C. despite a court order for him to get out of the rental business."
  • Welfare Slum Lord

    This investigation revealed the misdeeds of one of Canada's worst slumlords. The landlord rented tiny, substandard rooms at exorbitant rates to poor tenants. Many of his renters were on welfare, so the state was paying the landlord thousands of dollars per month. He was later charged with the murder of one of his tenants and was caught trying to flee the country.
  • Vendetta: Who's a Bigger Nuisance - Douglas Bruce or Denver's Property Police?

    Douglas Bruce is a Denver resident who tried to make his living through buying and restoring abandoned property. However, he has run into frequent problems with the Denver police and court systems -- Westword chronicles his disputes with the courts.
  • Wayne County Coverage

    A collection of three series where FOI was used extensively. The first series delves into the executive officer of Wayne County, Edward McNamara, and his misuse of county funds for his friends. McNamara more than tripled the number of political appointees while serving his office. 112 of his appointees took in more than $100,000. At least 50 of these appointees received cars, while 117 others were paid a monthly allowance of $400 to $500 for vehicles. The second series revealed how Wayne County and Detroit went from trying to stop slumlords to becoming slumlords themselves. After seizing around 2,000 homes to keep them out of slumlord hands, the county and city spent $17.3 million fixing up 32 houses. Many of the promises that were made prior to taking the houses never came to be. The third series showed that the new runway at Detroit Metropolitan Airport had serious problems with the concrete. Forty five percent of tests on the concrete failed to meet FAA and Wayne County standards. There was no immediate safety concerns for the $225 million runway but it would have shortened life span due to the lack of quality. See 2001 contest entry #18626 for more information on the airport series.
  • Slumlord Investigation

    A KMOV-TV investigation reveals "five investors, including a convicted double murderer, rented slum properties without permits and allegedly threatened to kill at least one tenant if she complained about living conditions."