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 "real estate" ...

  • Arizona Daily Star: Evictions

    Reporter Emily Bregel spent seven months investigating the problem of evictions and lack of affordable housing in Pima County, Arizona. The series ran in print over three days and highlighted the chaotic fall-out following an eviction, the reasons why experts said evictions were about to surge in Pima County and the City of Tucson, as well as the failures in the justice court system that deals with eviction cases. The online story also featured an introductory video created by Emily Bregel and video editor Nick Murray, an interactive map of evictions, audio clips from relevant eviction hears and multiple graphics.
  • Trump Taxes

    Shattering Trump’s myth of self-made billionaire, an exhaustive inquiry showed how his father’s real estate fed him $413 million, relying on dubious tax dodges.
  • How Cash Sent the Portland Housing Market Spinning

    Cash is king in red-hot Portland real estate, representing a full one-third of single-family home sales in 2014. Lee van der Voo’s seven-part series on the Portland housing market has uncovered in stark outline the often-obscured influence of cash from developers, foreign buyers and Wall Street in driving affordable housing from the city. Twenty-six investors who purchased more than 10 homes for cash in the listed market in Multnomah County through the recession. Average Black and Native American households priced out of the city. A publicly traded company that is renting out more than 200 Portland-area homes in a new twist on the asset-securitization that drove the Great Recession. The pension funds of teachers and police officers invested in cash-rich Wall Street landlords who compete on the housing market with the very middle-class professionals whose pensions they hold. With van der Voo’s reporting, an economic crisis that everyone in town talked about but no one could explain was given names, faces and numbers — and a hope of being fixed.
  • Sprawl Developer Won't Take No For an Answer

    This was a two-person investigation into political corruption, environmental damage, public danger and regulatory capture presented by a developer’s attempt to build a suburban sprawl project in rural San Diego County. We spent two months diving into lawsuits, environmental reports, wildfire warnings and campaign finance disclosures to understand how billion-dollar real estate developments take shape outside of public eye, even if they contradict adopted regulatory guidelines. It resulted in an elected official, poised to enrich himself by voting in favor of the project, being forced to recuse himself from voting, which led to the project’s indefinite suspension.
  • Condo Takeover

    This “Condo Takeover” series looks at what happened to Florida condos after the real estate crash in 2008-9. [https://ajam.app.box.com/s/ndmvyhiqu6qzylupzhecfgp7vexuxr7o] [https://ajam.app.box.com/s/2m9j7cn06gh3fr18q2mjoqyqiraskhcx]
  • Valerie Jarrett Works To Close Tax Loophole – While Benefitting From It

    Top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett was tasked with helping the president kill a controversial income tax perk used by the “wealthy and well-connected.” But a Better Government Association investigation uncovered Jarrett made a killing on a Chicago real estate deal by enlisting this very same benefit.
  • Towers of Secrecy

    Secret buyers, many of them foreign and superrich, are using shell companies to cloak their purchases of expensive U.S. real estate, allowing them to flout building codes and local laws, defraud people of their homes and shield huge cash purchases, raising questions of whether they are seeking to hide suspiciously obtained money.
  • Shortcut to the American Dream

    The longstanding yet little known EB-5 visa program allows wealthy foreigners to jump to the head of the immigration line, pumping capital into real estate from Seattle to Miami, but a Herald-Tribune investigation found the program is rife with fraud and that the government has no firm handle on who's getting in – raising questions of national security.
  • We Sell Houses (and Sometimes Ruin Lives)

    Scott Wizig is a Houston-based real estate king with an appalling track record in Houston, Buffalo, and Baltimore. Houston Press first reported on Wizig in 2004, after he was run out of Buffalo. They decided to follow up on him in 2014 after a group of community non-profits in Baltimore sued him for sitting on dozens of vacant, blighted homes that were deemed health and safety hazards. The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending appears to be the only Texas entity keeping an eye on Wizig, but even though he's repeatedly violated disclosure laws, the penalties are a pittance. Wizig also has exploited flaws in county record-keeping and eviction courts that have allowed him to foreclose on property he doesn't really own.
  • Crimea Property Grab

    While the world's attention was bracketed on the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Associated Press set out to investigate what was also happening to the south, in Crimea, the territory unilaterally annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March. Mills, based in Moscow, and Dahlburg, then AP's Brussels news editor, and a former Moscow-based staffer for the AP and the Los Angeles Times, meticulously tracked down example after example of property taken over by Crimea's new leaders under a so-called nationalization law, against the rules of Russia's own constitution. The AP interviewed victims who lost millions in farms, factories or other assets, and whose efforts to get justice or compensation have been thwarted. The story was the first to extensively report the large-scale grab for real estate and other forms of property under way in Crimea, and to show that in some cases, the new pro-Moscow leadership installed in power had benefited personally.