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Housing and Homelessness

Our Rental Housing Investigation 'STUCK' Wins Prestigious Investigative Reporting Award

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(Dan Carino for LAist)
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Our investigation "STUCK: Inside California's Housing Crisis," led by reporter Aaron Mendelson, has won an Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award in the print/online categories. These awards have been given for more than 40 years, recognizing the nation's best watchdog journalism.

The project featured video, photos, charts and other interactive features. The judges wrote:

"Aaron Mendelson left nothing untouched in the investigation of a sprawling $1.3 billion rental empire that virtually nobody had heard of before," the judges wrote in their comments. After analyzing extensive records and data, "he followed all this to the tenants living in substandard conditions and let them tell their stories in a sensitive and at times heartbreaking manner. What resulted was a beautifully well done investigation with incredible detail."

A one-hour radio special that aired on 89.3 KPCC, where our reporters work is also featured, was a finalist for the IRE Medal for audio.

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The story was published weeks before shutdowns began in California due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic helped to further heighten many of the problems discussed in the original investigation.

We've continued to follow the stories of those covered in our original investigation, including these stories published in late March 2020:

As well as this story published in December:

The investigation was previously honored with two Online Journalism Awards from the Online News Association.

The team that worked on this investigation included Rina Palta, Chava Sanchez, Priska Neely, and editors Mike Kessler, Adriene Hill, Dana Amihere, and Mark Schoofs.

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You can read six of the major takeaways from the investigation here.

MORE OF OUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING:

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