Lavinia "Big Boss" Hensley
Leoneda Inge

The current state of the economy has shaken up countless careers, especially if you were in the housing construction business. But in a neighborhood outside High Point, one woman who used to build homes now uses her own home as a bakery. She said it was time to do the one thing she knew best and Big Boss Baking Company was born. Leoneda Inge has this report for our series, “Breaking into the Food Biz.”

Lavinia Hensley:  Hey come on in, how are you. You found us. See you weren’t too far.
Leoneda Inge: I know. I found it.

Rosemary Thornton may have driven by your house a few times. She may have even slowed down, whipped out her camera and snapped a few pictures. But, she’s not casing the place. Thornton is documenting history. If she’s interested in your dwelling, it’s likely you live in a kit home, a mail-order house that could be purchased out of a catalog in the early 20th century.

Durham will soon be home to some of North Carolina's first housing for homeless veterans with disabilities. The 10-unit complex near Northgate Mall will have affordable rents and will connect tenants with support services.

Jess Brandes is projects coordinator for CASA, the nonprofit developing the site. She says Durham has a lot of services for veterans because of the VA medical center there.

The Obama administration says thousands of North Carolina families could benefit from a proposed home-refinancing program. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came to Raleigh to tout the proposal. He told WUNC that ten percent of North Carolina homeowners owe more on their home than the home is worth and the national average is twice that.

Nashville housing counselor Louetta Hix
Rose Hoban

  In the last 10 years, multiple studies have concluded that housing people with mental health disabilities in adult and family care homes is not the best plan for them. Each study has recommended phasing out use of the homes and improving the system. Despite that, the number of homes has increased along with the number of adults with mental illness who live in them.

For people with mental health disabilities, housing’s an intensely personal issue. Many want to live independently, some want to live with others. But mostly, what folks with mental health problems say they want is some choice in the matter. But housing is a political and economic issue too. Many factors prevent people with mental health disabilities from getting the housing they want… and need.


It probably wouldn’t occur to him, but Alfred Brown is in the vanguard. He’s weathered a lifetime of schizophrenia and alcohol abuse…

Clinton Toy in front of his Nashville home.
Rose Hoban

  Around the country, advocates have come to realize that one of the most important services for people with mental health disabilities is housing – and that most people with disabilities are able to live independently with some help. States have tried many strategies to create suitable housing options. Tennessee dedicates a small amount of state money every year to local groups that succeed pretty well.  

Triangle Home Sales

Jan 24, 2011

Home sales were down in 2010 in the greater Triangle area.  But the average price of homes went up. 

The federal tax credit for first time home buyers kept housing sales on track for the first two quarters of 2010.  But when the program ended – housing sales took a hit.

Stacey Anfindsen is director of the Triangle Multiple Listing Service.  He says the total number of home sales in the greater Triangle area was 20,643 homes – six-percent behind sales in 2009.  But the average price of homes jumped three-percent.

America has not reached the peak of the foreclosure crisis. But a survey by Fannie Mae says that hasn’t hampered people’s dreams of home ownership.

North Carolina is among the ten states hit hardest by foreclosures this year - up there with Florida, California and Ohio.  Doug Duncan is Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae – the Federal National Mortgage Association.  He says their 2010 Own-Rent Analysis says no matter the person’s race, geographic region or income –aspirations of home ownership are strong.