Jennifer Ludden NPR National Correspondent Jennifer Ludden covers economic inequality, exploring systemic disparities in housing, food insecurity and wealth.
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Jennifer Ludden

Jennifer Ludden is a National Correspondent.
Allison Shelley/NPR
Jennifer Ludden at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

Jennifer Ludden

Correspondent, National Desk

NPR National Correspondent Jennifer Ludden covers economic inequality, exploring systemic disparities in housing, food insecurity and wealth. She seeks to explain the growing gap between socio-economic groups, and government policies to try and change it.

Previously, Ludden edited stories on climate and energy, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. She helped track the shift to clean energy, climate policies and pushback to them, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of the warming world.

Before that, Ludden was an NPR correspondent covering family life and social issues, including the changing economics of marriage, the changing role of dads, and the ethical challenges of reproductive technology. She's also covered immigration and national security.

Ludden started reporting with NPR while based overseas in West Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She shared in two awards (Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists) for NPR's coverage of the Kosovo war in 1999, and won the Robert F. Kennedy Award for her coverage of the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When not navigating war zones, Ludden reported on cultural trends, including the dying tradition of storytellers in Syria, the emergence of Persian pop music in Iran, and the rise of a new form of urban polygamy in Africa.

Ludden has also reported from Canada and at public radio stations in Boston and Maine. She's a graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in television, radio, and film production and in English.

Story Archive

Friday

College students look for an apartment in Berkeley, Calif. Rental application fees are a barrier to many in a tight housing market. California is the latest in a string of states and cities passing laws to try and limit them. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

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Eric Risberg/AP

Rental application fees add up fast in a tight market. But limiting them is tough

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Thursday

Cities and states are trying to limit high application fees for renters

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Thursday

A woman walks through unclaimed bags at Southwest Airlines baggage claim at Salt Lake City International Airport on Thursday, as the carrier canceled another 2,350 flights after a winter storm overwhelmed its operations days ago. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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Rick Bowmer/AP

Tuesday

A flight board shows canceled flights at the Southwest Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Eugene Garcia/AP hide caption

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Eugene Garcia/AP

The blizzard is just one reason behind the operational meltdown at Southwest Airlines

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Monday

David Hernandez, 62, crawls into his bed made with cardboard boxes in Los Angeles last week. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has declared a state of emergency to grapple with the city's homeless crisis. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

'It is the obvious thing.' The White House tries a new tack to combat homelessness

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Monday

Tenant activists from around the country rally outside the White House on Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C. They want the Biden administration to regulate rent increases on federally backed housing. Jennifer Ludden/NPR hide caption

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Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Rent control expands as tenants struggle with the record-high cost of housing

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Wednesday

Voters approve more spending on affordable housing in cities across the U.S.

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Even though higher mortgage rates are starting to curb housing prices, the share of first-time homebuyers has fallen to a historic low, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sue Ogrocki/AP hide caption

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Sue Ogrocki/AP

Thursday

This is one of 194 homes The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority bought this year. The purchase is a first for the agency, which wanted to prevent investors from buying the homes and possibly increasing rent or evicting tenants. Jeff Dean for NPR hide caption

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Jeff Dean for NPR

It's harder to buy a house. This city fought back by outbidding corporate landlords

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Thursday

Eric Perkins says the kitchen is what sold him on the two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Norfolk, Va., that he found through a shared housing program. Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR hide caption

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Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR

Roommate wanted: Homeless people are pairing up as a way around the housing crisis

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Wednesday

Child poverty is at a historic low, according to the Census Bureau

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Tuesday

Volunteers deliver water and other items to the homeless in Los Angeles. Poverty rates dropped in 2021 thanks in part to pandemic policy measures, but poverty advocates fear they will rise again without those measures in place. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Poverty and uninsured rates drop, thanks to pandemic-era policies

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Sunday

Jarvis Jones and John Knight help distribute free bottled water at the Sykes Park Community Center in Jackson, Mississippi. Leslie Gamboni for NPR hide caption

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Leslie Gamboni for NPR

Avoiding the tap water in Jackson, Miss., has been a way of life for decades

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Wednesday

Ty Carter fills containers with nonpotable water on Aug. 31 in Jackson, Mississippi. The state's capital is struggling with access to safe drinking water after historic rain and flooding led to a drop in pressure at Jackson's main water-treatment plant on Aug. 29. Brad Vest/Getty Images hide caption

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Brad Vest/Getty Images