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a little bit of housing
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This morning we wrapped up our three part series on housing.  Check it out. 

The Fight for Fair Housing

Discrimination in housing based on race has been illegal since 1968.  But communities all over the country are still struggling to develop and enforce fair housing.  Today, Where We Live, a look at a lawsuit in Westchester County, New York that’s bringing this issue back into the national spotlight.  We’ll also look at what’s happening right here in Connecticut.  How are federal dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development being spent in our cities?  How can your town comply with federal laws—and why does it matter?  David Fink and Erin Kemple join us in our Hartford studio.

Fighting Blight

Blight is an issue that every city deals with – abandoned homes or commercial properties that take up space, become safety hazards, and lower property values.  The state of Connecticut has taken initiative by passing a bill that creates a registration system to track ownership of blighted properties due to foreclosure and also allows municipalities to hold banks accountable to repair and maintain the properties.  The city of New Britain is getting “clean and lien”. If a blighted property owner ignores the city’s warnings, the city will clean and repair properties themselves, and of course send the bill right back to the owner.  But the word “blight” itself is loaded with the baggage of decades of failed urban renewal efforts.

Today, Where We Live, we’ll look at what’s being done in Connecticut and beyond when it comes to getting rid of blight, and revitalizing our cities with John Kromer and Heidi Green.

Checking in on Real Estate

With rock-bottom mortgage rates, and a successful federal incentive plan – it’s the perfect time to buy a house. So, are you?  The Mortgage Bankers Association says the average 30 year fixed rate loan is about 4.97 percent, and mortgage applications have jumped 50 percent from where they were early this summer. Other news is encouraging, too.  New housing starts are at the best pace in more than nine months, and the National Association of Realtors says the “worst of the housing crisis is over.”

So, why such slow overall growth in the housing market? Home sales dipped 2.7 percent last month, leaving Wall Street scratching its head about the recovery.  Today, where we live, we’ll conclude our Tuesday series on housing with a look at the real estate market in Connecticut and nationwide, the trends we’re finding, and your stories.