Enterprise stories

The city is cracking down on absentee landlords. Will it work? (The New Bedford Light)

When New Bedford’s mayor announced he would raise code enforcement fines on “absentee” landlords, he claimed that many of these property owners saw fines as a routine “cost of doing business.” He reasoned that higher fines would lead to more compliance. But, after weeks of negotiation, I obtained data from the city showing that most of the city’s worst code violators were already ignoring thousands of dollars in fines — in one case, a property owner had $43,050 in outstanding fines. Experts said mayor’s plan was unlikely to succeed because the city couldn’t enforce the higher fines.


570 New Bedford homes stand vacant (The New Bedford Light)

This story dives into the complex reasons why hundreds of properties are sitting vacant in a city with skyrocketing property values and a housing crisis.


Undocumented immigrants fall through the cracks with child lead poisoning (The New Bedford Light)

When I asked experts about lead poisoning in New Bedford, they pointed to one population that faces a disproportionate risk and significant barriers to accessing state resources: families with undocumented immigrants. They tend to live in lower quality housing that’s likely to have chipping lead paint, and they fear that allowing inspectors to visit them or applying for lead paint abatement funding could expose their immigration status. At the same time, much of the money New Bedford has allocated to help remove lead paint goes unspent, city data shows.


More enterprise stories

New Bedford residents die of overdoses at twice the statewide rate. How can we end this epidemic? (The New Bedford Light)
How a cryptocurrency fortune crippled a deceased billionaire’s estate (The Daily Dot)