Read more about the article Blighted Housing: Inspections fail to stem poor conditions for migrant farmworkersPhoto by Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
Workers rest outside at the Nightingale camp in Rantoul, Ill., after a day's work in July 2014. The migrant farmworker housing is located on the former Chanute Air Force Base. The Illinois Department of Public Health lists the camp’s maximum occupancy at 450 workers.

Blighted Housing: Inspections fail to stem poor conditions for migrant farmworkers

An ongoing investigation by The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has found the oversight of migrant housing is a fractured and ineffective system despite decades of reforms.

Continue ReadingBlighted Housing: Inspections fail to stem poor conditions for migrant farmworkers
Read more about the article Blighted Housing: A look inside eight migrant farmworker ‘camps’Photo by Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
A bedroom for migrant farmworkers at the Nightingale facility in Rantoul, Ill., on July 29, 2014.

Blighted Housing: A look inside eight migrant farmworker ‘camps’

State inspection records highlight substandard conditions inside eight migrant farmworker housing sites.

Continue ReadingBlighted Housing: A look inside eight migrant farmworker ‘camps’
Read more about the article Blighted Housing: Visa program requires housing inspections for non-U.S. farmworkersPhoto by Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
A resident walks down a hallway inside the Nightingale migrant labor camp in Rantoul, Ill., in July 2014. Companies in Illinois received approval for only five H-2A workers from October to December 2015.

Blighted Housing: Visa program requires housing inspections for non-U.S. farmworkers

Hundreds of migrant workers come to the United States from Mexico and other countries with special H-2A farm visas, but they make up only a fraction of the total number of migrant farmworkers.

Continue ReadingBlighted Housing: Visa program requires housing inspections for non-U.S. farmworkers
Read more about the article Blighted Housing: Much of Missouri migrant farmworker housing left out of inspection programPhoto by Robert Holly/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
Migrant farmworkers help plant, pick and process the food that ends up on kitchen tables. Under current Missouri policies, only housing for foreign migrant farmworkers with H-2A visas is required to undergo inspection.

Blighted Housing: Much of Missouri migrant farmworker housing left out of inspection program

The state and local agencies responsible for overseeing migrant farmworker housing vary from state to state. Here's a detailed look at how oversight works in Missouri.

Continue ReadingBlighted Housing: Much of Missouri migrant farmworker housing left out of inspection program
Read more about the article Unpaid property taxes total $2.5 million, but investors give delinquents time to payDarrell Hoemann
Champaign County Treasurer Dan Welch by the county seal i the board room where delinquent properties are auctioned in Urbana, IL on Monday, May 4, 2015.

Unpaid property taxes total $2.5 million, but investors give delinquents time to pay

Last year Bell Sports in Rantoul had about $108,000 in unpaid property taxes. The former Gateway Studios property in Champaign had about $104,800. And Mennenga Construction Inc. in Urbana had about $84,200.

Continue ReadingUnpaid property taxes total $2.5 million, but investors give delinquents time to pay
Read more about the article Records show public housing often filled with violationsRobert Holly
Lavell Blissit stands outside Steer Place in Urbana on April 15, 2015. He has been a resident there for the past four years, he said.

Records show public housing often filled with violations

Cockroaches, mice feces, broken appliances and mold were among the most severe violations found during standard public housing inspections this past year in Champaign County.

Continue ReadingRecords show public housing often filled with violations
Read more about the article Fraternities and sororities fail inspections; Violations take months to fixDarrell Hoemann
Alpha Delta Phi, located at 310 East John Street in Champaign, had 54 violations after its initial inspection last year. Among the violations, Inspectors found broken windows, tripping hazards and expired fire extinguishers. Inspectors also found beer cans and tea lights in the fraternity’s crawlspace, which is not meant to be used as a habitable space. This photo of the house was taken on Nov. 15, 2013.

Fraternities and sororities fail inspections; Violations take months to fix

City safety inspectors find hundreds of fire hazards and safety violations in fraternities and sororities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign each year, yet it can take months before some violations are corrected, inspection documents show.

Continue ReadingFraternities and sororities fail inspections; Violations take months to fix

Maps of Public Housing Authorities in Illinois

Illinois public housing authorities are responsible for providing affordable housing to low-income residents located within their district. Some authorities – such as the housing authority in Champaign – serve an entire county. Others – such as The East St. Louis Housing Authority – are charged with only serving a city.

Continue ReadingMaps of Public Housing Authorities in Illinois
Read more about the article No vacancy: Getting on waiting lists for subsidized housing can take yearsRobert Holly
Linda Tortorelli recently tried getting a housing voucher for her son, who has a behavioral disability, but learned there already is an extensive voucher waiting list of more than 400 families in Champaign County.

No vacancy: Getting on waiting lists for subsidized housing can take years

Linda Tortorelli recently faced the challenge of finding affordable housing for her 23-year-old son, Patrick, in Champaign. Her task was complicated by the fact Patrick has Smith-Magenis syndrome, a rare chromosomal condition that causes behavioral disorders. Because her son qualified for government assistance under a federal housing voucher program, Tortorelli called the Housing Authority of Champaign County to seek a voucher that would allow him to live in an apartment of his own.

Continue ReadingNo vacancy: Getting on waiting lists for subsidized housing can take years