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 "urban development" ...

  • The Impact After the CHA Plan for Transformation

    Data from U.S. Housing & Urban Development, the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Census Bureau was analyzed by census tract in the city of Chicago and by municipality in the six-county suburban area for the years 2000 and 2015. In 1999, Mayor Richard M. Daley boldly promised to transform public housing in Chicago — in part by tearing down the high-rise housing projects that lined the city’s expressways and surrounded the Loop. Today, nearly every Chicago neighborhood — and almost every suburb — has felt the impact of the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation,” a Better Government Association and Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found. https://cst.carto.com/viz/2a5170a2-2ec4-11e6-93e7-0ecd1babdde5/public_map https://cst.carto.com/viz/c1072cca-3438-11e6-bce7-0e31c9be1b51/public_map
  • Profiting Off the Poor

    This series of columns examines the damage caused by repeated abuses of Texas adverse possession laws by companies headed by Douglas T. "Chase" Fonteno. The series outlines the complex nature of Fonteno's interlocking businesses and the web of deceit that helped hide his real estate transactions from county, state and federal agencies. He claimed deeds to other people's houses, without the real owners' knowledge or consent, and sold those houses to unsuspecting people who, in almost all cases, were poor, uneducated and often spoke little English. The series uncovered millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and liens, along with other nefarious activities that appear to have included document forgery and misuse of a Texas notary stamp. Fonteno's antics helped delay urban development in one of Dallas's most downtrodden urban neighborhoods.
  • Living Apart: Fair Housing in America

    The series documents 45 years of neglect of one of the most sweeping civil rights laws in our country’s history. The investigation found that the federal government made a decision almost immediately after the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act not to enforce the key provisions of the law, including the mandate to promote residential integration. The stories and maps reveal how politics hobbled the reach of the law, severely limiting both the resources and the will of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to use its vast powers to force communities to undue decades of government-sanctioned segregation. It showed how HUD has from its roots been an agency conflicted about enforcing the law and how those charged with enforcement are undertrained and often maligned within the agency. As a result of the law’s neglect by a succession of Republican and Democratic Administrations, our investigation found that segregation patterns in the cities with the largest proportion of black residents have barely budged.
  • Fair Housing in America

    ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones looked at how and why the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development has failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. She traced the nation’s history of housing discrimination, from the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the early 1900’s to the post-World War II boom and into the 1960’s. Again and again, her reporting showed, federal agencies played a pivotal role in keeping white and black Americans separate. While the law required localities to “affirmatively further’’ fair housing, neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had the political will to enforce it. Over time, courts interpreted that provision to mean that HUD could withhold billions of dollars in grants from communities that were not doing everything possible to end segregation. Yet officials charged with enforcing the fair housing law told Hannah-Jones they were often ignored or undercut by others inside HUD, who saw the agency’s main mission as distributing development dollars. Even when courts issued rulings insisting that communities honor the law’s intentions, as she notes in a case about Westchester County, New York, they were routinely ignored by HUD officials and local politicians alike. Hannah-Jones also looked at how little HUD does to root out or punish racial steering and overt discrimination in the sale and rental of property. Millions of Latinos and African Americans face such bias each year. Yet HUD hardly ever does the sort of undercover testing proven to catch landlords and real estate agents in the act.
  • Bad loans, No penalties

    The state of Ohio leads the nation in failed loans, which the federal government corrects while the communities suffer. One of the biggest stories, which led to the investigation and this series, was when “Columbus developers walked away from an apartment-renovation project and $26 million in government-insured loans”. Further, there wasn’t anything that held these developers liable to repay the money.
  • Section 8 Scandal

    The series discovered that the person running the Section 8 housing program in New Orleans, was also living in the housing himself. This housing is intended for low income people and families, not those making "6-figure salaries". After this story, action was taken and new leadership was brought into the Section 8 program of the Housing Authority (HANO).
  • section 8: Subsidizing Surburbia

    "Thousands of poor people have moved out of Cincinnati's inner-city ghettos and settled into homes on middle-class, suburban streets- exactly the result a federal housing program intended. But that victory comes at a cost: Poor families with government subsidies that help pay the rent are creating new pockets of low-income housing in formerly stable, middle-class neighborhoods."
  • Broken Homes; Shaky Foundation

    "The topic of stories is the City of Fort Worht Housing Dept., its long-time director and his cronies and the squandering and misuse of federal housing funds over the years, resulting in the city's failure to provide quality, affordable housing for the city's poor residents as mandated by the city charter and the federal government."
  • Closed Doors: Housing Discrimination Complaints on Rise Across Country

    The reporters looked at records of more than 44,000 housing discrimination complaints filed with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development between 2002 and 2006. The analysis revealed many trends about discrimination in housing, including that discrimination is more prevalent in less diverse neighborhoods, and that complaints about disabilities are just as common as complaints about race.
  • Abandoning Our Mentally Ill

    A year-long investigation of living conditions of the most severely mentally ill patients in the Milwaukee area discovered that those conditions were far from ideal, sometimes filthy and dangerous. Among the discoveries were patients housed in illegal group homes which city building inspectors did not discover or report. In addition, caseworkers were still placing patients in homes despite knowledge of their poor and filthy conditions. At the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, a 33-year-old woman died from dehydration and starvation after doctors allowed her to go nearly four weeks without food or water. Social service and government agencies had also passed up opportunities to accept federal money for construction of better facilities, $3.3 million in the past seven years.