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 "low-income" ...

  • Nearly 750 charter schools are whiter than the nearby district schools

    Politicians often sell charters as a solution for low-income black and brown students stuck in chronically poor-performing public schools. But Lake Oconee Academy in Georgia is one of at least 747 public charter schools around the country that enroll a higher percentage of white students than any of the traditional public schools in the school districts where they are located.
  • 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.
  • The Mobile-Home Trap

    Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a business empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable homes, but all too often unsuspecting families, particularly those of color, find themselves locked into ruinous high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating dwellings. http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/the-mobile-home-trap-how-a-warren-buffett-empire-preys-on-the-poor/
  • Dirty Little Secrets: New Jersey’s Poorest Live Surrounded by Contamination

    WNYC found 89 percent of New Jerseyans live within a mile of a contaminated site. Most of those sites are in the process of being cleaned up, which can take years. But our investigation found 1,464 of the state’s 14,066 known contaminated sites don’t have any clean-up plan in place. Many sites have sat orphaned and polluted for years, and they are disproportionately found in low-income communities. http://www.wnyc.org/story/nj-contaminated-sites/
  • No Place to Call Home

    For low-income residents in Portland, Section 8 has historically been the golden ticket for housing, allowing them to live in market-rate homes instead of housing projects or on the street. But Portland's booming rental market makes it nearly impossible for people with Section 8 to find a home that fits within the criteria set by the program. No Place to Call Home examines the problems with the Section 8 program in Multnomah County and introduces readers to one disabled senior with Section 8 who's facing homelessness – and fighting back.
  • One Year Later: CNNMoney Investigates Ferguson

    After a scathing report from the Department of Justice finding rampant policing for profit in Ferguson, the city touted changes to the police department and court system, while lawmakers heralded a new state law aimed at limiting the use of court fines as revenue generators. But we didn’t want to take the city’s word for it, and in an exclusive analysis eventually discovered that even after the DOJ report, the city continued to issue thousands of warrants over the same kinds of minor offenses the DOJ had highlighted. We also found that the problem goes far beyond Ferguson. Policing for profit has raged on in Ferguson’s neighboring towns -- keeping many of the area’s low-income residents stuck in a cycle of court debt and jail stints. Like a pastor who was jailed countless times for minor traffic tickets, a 27-year-old who has spent more than a decade trying to pay off tickets she got as a teenager, or a young mom who was arrested over not having a residency sticker on her car.
  • Data show that poorer families are bearing the brunt of college price hikes

    In an 11-month project, The Hechinger Report empirically tested the oft-repeated claim of universities and colleges that they are helping low-income students afford the cost of higher education. The Report analyzed federal data to determine the net price -- what students are actually charged, after discounts and financial aid are taken into account -- at thousands of colleges and universities. The Report found many schools increased the net price much faster for their lowest-income students than for wealthier ones. Sidebars also showed that federal financial aid, including tax credits and the work-study program, disproportionately benefit the rich. And in a followup, using a successive year of data later made available during 2014, The Hechinger Report reported that 100 colleges and universities that promised at a White House summit to make higher education more affordable for the lowest-income students had actually raised their prices faster for the poorest students than for wealthier ones. The project included a unique, first-of-its-kind, easy-to-use, searchable website called Tuition Tracker (tuitiontracker.org) through which readers could find any college and university and see how its net price has changed, by any of five income groupings.
  • Death of a Nursing Home

    An investigation of the high rate of bankruptcies of nursing homes serving minority and low-income communities shows that their financial problems can be traced back to the low reimbursement rates paid by Medicaid, and that the Medicaid law is based on amendments made to the Social Security Law of 1935 inserted by states’ rights advocates in Congress who wanted to preserve the system of economic exploitation and social segregation of the South.
  • New Scrutiny of City's Library Trustees

    The city's libraries play an increasingly important role in the lives of immigrant, low-income and young New Yorkers. This story looks into the unique way New York's three library systems are run: with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money overseen by private boards of wealthy people with limited expertise and potential conflicts subject to little transparency or accountability.
  • Breathless

    Although the relationship between childhood asthma and poverty can be demonstrated in several cities across the country, we focused our investigation on low-income New York City neighborhoods. It’s a story where the health of children can be charted by their “economic address,” their zip codes. In East Harlem, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods the children’s asthma rate is more than 20%, but move a few blocks downtown to the Upper East Side, where incomes are higher, and that rate drops to 8%. The difference in hospitalization rates is staggering: East Harlem children are 13 times more likely to be hospitalized for the disease than their wealthier counterparts. The question BREATHLESS sought to answer is “why?” Asthma is a complicated disease and extensive literature points to causes such as crime related stress, obesity and the close proximity to pollution from truck traffic and industrial area -- all conditions much more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods.