Stories

Migrants’ plane lands on Martha’s Vineyard: island mobilizes, with many unanswered questions

September 14, 2022

About 50 migrants, most from Venezuela, including children, arrived by chartered plane on Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday afternoon. Surprised island officials scrambled to care for them. The migrants’ arrival on the island is apparently part of a larger tactic by Republican-led states to transport immigrants to so-called liberal states as a protest over the Biden administration’s…

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Helping her family get housing, food & healthcare is a part-time job for New Hampshire woman

August 22, 2022

For Josephin Yen of Concord, N.H., gardening is a way to clear her head and get out of the house. “I will go out there,” she said, and “I feel better.” But gardening isn’t an easy hobby for her these days. After resettling in New Hampshire with her family from Sudan, she worked long hours…

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Cecilia Dixon stands on Harvard Street, Dorchester, by her new home.

Boston’s racial homeownership gap has widened. What will it take to fix it?

April 1, 2022

House hunting in Boston can often feel like one of those reality TV dating shows. There’s the first meeting, where you and a dozen or so other contestants circle the object of your desire. You fall in love, maybe make a proposal, and then more likely than not … you get rejected. This is the…

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480 West Broadway describes itself as an "18 unit condo project" under construction on the corner where East and West Broadway meet.

Boston gets billions in home loans, but white areas get ‘much bigger piece of the pie’

March 31, 2022

Homeownership is the primary way most Americans build wealth. And for most people, buying a home doesn’t happen without a mortgage loan. Altogether, home loans amount to billions of dollars flowing into Boston every year. But this infusion of money doesn’t reach all parts of the city equally. A WBUR analysis finds lenders make a…

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A "For Sale" sign by a house on Ballou Ave. in Mattapan.

Black and Hispanic people are more likely to be denied mortgage loans in Boston

March 30, 2022

Owning a home is considered part of the so-called American dream. But for Black and Hispanic Bostonians, it is more often a dream denied. A new WBUR analysis of mortgage lending in Boston from 2015-2020 found lenders denied mortgages to Black applicants at three times the rate of white applicants. Hispanic applicants were twice as…

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Evictions could top pre-COVID numbers, hit vulnerable communities hardest

March 24, 2022

Victor and Amilbia came to this country, like many other migrants, to find better opportunities for themselves and their future family. So never in their wildest dreams did they think their American dream would include facing eviction. The family of seven, who asked that only their first names be used because the parents are undocumented,…

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A deed from Springfield, Mass., in 1916 states that “sad lot shall not be resold to a colored person, a Polander or in Italian.” This language appears on the deeds for at least four separate properties in Hampton County.

Racist covenants still stain property records. Mass. may try to have them removed

January 22, 2022

In the bedroom community of Wilmington, Mass., just south of Lowell, sits a little white house, with paint peeling from the trim and a mailbox emblazoned with the American flag at the end of the driveway. Homeowners Edward Kaizer and his wife Mary Tassone-Kaizer say the house has been in the family for generations. But…

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An Afghan family recently resettled in Massachusetts with help of the International Institute of New England.

Citing housing shortage, New Hampshire’s Afghan resettlement groups say they’ve hit capacity

January 11, 2022

New Hampshire’s housing shortage has slowed the process of resettling Afghan evacuees, according to two local organizations. Of the 150 Afghan evacuees who have arrived to New Hampshire since November, about half of them remain in hotels. “The housing market in New Hampshire has made it very difficult to find affordable and safe housing,” said Donna…

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New England states see a wave of in-migration during the pandemic

December 6, 2021

New England states have seen a rise in migration during the pandemic. A study shows that 36 counties gained households since the first U.S. outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. Nicholas Chiumenti, a senior policy analyst and author of the study at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said the pandemic changed the way people moved into New…

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Landlords wanted: As Afghan refugees arrive in Conn., housing is an issue

November 11, 2021

Thomas Kania is the grandson of Polish immigrants, people who he says came to the United States for opportunity. Now Kania, a real estate investor, says it’s their experience that has motivated him to help others looking for a bit of opportunity of their own — newly arrived Afghan refugees. “It’s basically the American spirit,”…

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