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Posts Tagged ‘federal government’

Fisher River Cree Seek to Build Own Modular Homes

June 14th, 2016 Comments off

canadian modular   stuart gradon  calgary herald  great plains modular housing for flood victimsAs a means to provide more housing for First Nation peoples in Manitoba and teach them a saleable skill, Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate is lobbying the federal government in Ottawa, Canada to fund a program teaching residents home construction and home maintenance.

The proposal includes partnering with modular workforce housing builder Atco Sustainable Communities, Inc., to construct a training center in Fisher River for training, with the end goal of the workers building modular homes to be shipped to their own communities for siting. Fisher River is a little over 100 miles north of Winnipeg.

Fisher River and Atco already have resources for the training center, but are seeking funding for the training, which they say will require about 40 instructors, adding, the first year of building they anticipate 150 new modular homes, according to winnipegfreepress.

MHProNews understands nearly one-third of Manitoba’s indigenous people live in substandard housing. Crate said his community alone needs 200 new homes, but it may receive only ten this year. ##

(Photo credit: calgaryherald/Stuart Gradon–Great Plains modular homes)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Shortage of Affordable Housing Could Severely Impact 40% of Boomers

May 25th, 2016 Comments off

baby_boomers____howstuffworksWith 8,000 to 10,000 Baby Boomers hitting the 65 mark daily, a task force from the Bipartisan Policy Center, arguing that there is a link between housing and health that will impact the well-being of the country’s senior population, is urging the federal government to spur investment in affordable housing for seniors.

Comprised of former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, former HUD Secretary and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and former U.S. Representatives Allyson Schwartz and Vin Weber, the task force is recommending expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program to finance the production and preservation of affordable rental units.

As nationalmortgagenews tells MHProNews, the group recommended funding for Section 202, which provides rental assistance for seniors, and that LICHTs be used to attract funding from health care programs for services that will be needed by an older population.

The center reports in 2013 there were only 4.3 million rental homes available to extremely low-income households, but a need for housing for 11.2 million households, leaving a shortage of 6.9 million homes. With approximately 40 percent of seniors over 62 estimated to have assets of under $25,000 to sustain them over the next 20 years, the lack of affordable housing threatens to leave many possibly homeless.

Affordable housing is the glue that holds everything together,” Martinez, who co-chaired the task force, said in a news release. “Without access to affordable housing and the stability it provides, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide home and community-based supportive services that can enable successful aging.”

In order to make the necessary changes to accommodate health and accessibility needs, the task force suggests a new Modification Assistance initiative be implemented by the federal government, in conjunction with local and state governments, to utilize tax credits, grants and forgivable loans to assist the aging population.

Additionally, the group stated that HUD should create lending products that allow elderly borrowers access to home equity.

As MHProNews understands, this scenario could be an ideal situation for HUD to promote the affordable, quality manufactured housing it so vigorously regulates. ##

(Photo credit: howstuffworks–Baby Boomers)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Attempt to Block Funding of Federal Housing Program Fails

May 21st, 2016 Comments off

mike_lee_senator_Utah__repub__AP_Photo_Susan_WalshIn an attempt to encourage communities to be more diverse, the Obama administration is tying federal community grants to the demographic make-up of communities, according to what washingtonexaminer is telling MHProNews.

An amendment from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) would have defunded President Obama’s “The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule,” but the Senate, despite having a Republican majority, voted it down 60-37. Sen. Lee said he wanted to prevent the federal government from becoming a national zoning authority by requiring federal grant recipients to abide by government issued diversity rules.

Instead, the Senate voted 87-9 in favor of an amendment from Susan Collins (R-ME) to prevent HUD from mandating local housing and zoning regulations.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala) said, “HUD does not intend to direct any special zoning requirements. It does, however, intend to significantly influence local zoning decisions by withholding approval of local plans until they meet HUD’s central goals.”

Conservatives have criticized Obama’s housing rule since it was unveiled in July as more unnecessary regulation from Washington. ##

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh–Sen. Mike Lee)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Judge Garland has Ruled against Small Employers in the Past

March 31st, 2016 Comments off

Merrick_Garland,_Judge__town_hall___creditTom Scott, the California Executive Director of the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), writing in ocregister, says President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, has a history of ruling against small business, siding overwhelmingly with regulators, labor unions, trial lawyers and environmental activists.

Noting Judge Garland would defer to regulators as a Supreme Court Justice, Scott said on the circuit court Judge Garland has ruled in many cases involving the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In two cases he has ruled if employers are guilty of violations, their personal assets as well as their business assets should be penalized.

In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, in 2003, he ruled the federal government can regulate private property. In a Calif. case involving protecting a unique toad, he ruled the Constitution’s Commerce Clause has precedence over the property, even though the Commerce Clause deals with interstate commerce, of which the toad was not a part. Scott says Garland “twisted the Commerce Clause into a pretzel in order to rationalize federal regulation.”

The NFIB is a plaintiff in a case challenging the EPA Waters of the U. S. rule which mandates that small businesses must obtain federal approval to improve property that is near a body of water.

In another case involving the NFIB, the EPA Power Plan forces states to switch away from coal as a power source to another source of electricity, a move that will likely be very costly.

After examining his record, it’s a fair assumption that Judge Garland would readily side with the government in both of these major cases. Small business knows where he stands. NFIB is firmly opposed to this nominee,” says Scott.

As MHProNews understands, however, if the new president is a Democrat, and Democrats retake the Senate, the choice for the Supreme Court could be more liberal. ##

(Photo credit: townhall–Judge Merrick Garland)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Mortgage Credit Rises, but Remains Well Below the 2006 Peak

May 13th, 2015 Comments off

mortgage app   texaslendingtoday creditIn a new report the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said, according to its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), availability of mortgage credit rose 0.5 percent in April to 122.0 following an increase in March of 2.3 percent to 121.4. MHProNews has learned from housingwire the index was benchmarked at 100 in march 2012.

Several announcements from the federal government recently have contributed to the consistent rise in mortgage credit the last several months. MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said, “Mortgage credit availability increased on net in April. The increase was driven by new offerings of FHA’s 203K home improvement program, new VA offerings, and new jumbo products. The increase was partially offset by some investors tightening underwriting criteria on conventional cash out offerings.

According to MBA’s report, the government MCAI which measures VA, FHA and USDA programs rose by 1.1 percent in April, which drove much of the increase. The jumbo MCAI rose 0.8 percent in April, while loan programs that fall under conforming loan limits rose 0.2 percent in April. However, the conventional MCAI that measures non-government loan programs dropped in April 0.6 percent.

Credit remains far below what it was prior to the run-up to the financial crisis in 2008. ##

(Image credit: texaslendingtoday)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

CDBG Funding Disallows Manufactured Home Repair; Local Initiative Needed

May 12th, 2015 Comments off

manuf_home_replaced__jeremy_schwartz_peninsuladailynews_credit__dan_davis_tom_duceMHProNews has learned from newsobserver that the Orange County Commissioners in North Carolina have approved a five-year plan that will be submitted to the federal government to provide affordable housing and repairs for residents in the Chapel Hill, NC area. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires recipients of HOME Funding and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to file an updated plan every five years.

Chapel Hill received $403,000 this year and is set to receive nearly $312,000 next year, but the amounts have been steadily falling each year. The current greatest need is for senior housing assistance. Of the 20,234 rental units in the county only one percent meet the affordable guidelines for seniors, although 12 percent of the county is 62 and older.

However, the funding cannot be used for those who live in manufactured homes, says Rev. Robert Campbell because they are “still under the guidelines of construction, zoning and policies on how a home should be constructed. They have to find other ways to repair their AC units, their walls, (and) roofs.

Commissioner Mark Dorosin, who serves on the HOME Program Review Committee, states the quality of MH has been improved considerably since they were initially disallowed from receiving funding. He says there should be a local initiative to raise money to rehab manufactured homes that need work. ##

(Photo credit: peninsuladailynews/Jeremy Schwartz–Dan Davis and Tom Duce repairing a manufactured home)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Image of Modular Housing Rises in Germany

September 3rd, 2013 Comments off

Modular apartment buildings were often the norm in the communist-era of the former East Germany. With a reputation as dreary and shoddy, hundreds of thousands of the less appealing apartments were demolished by the federal government following the re-unification of East and West Germany when communism ended in November, 1989. Large-panel-system (LPS) construction, called Plattenbau (meaning a building put together from slabs) in German, comprises 55.5 percent of the apartments in the state of Saxony in east central Germany. The vacancy rate had been as high as 20 percent plus, but has dropped to eight percent due to the demolition, which has also contributed to the addition of more greenspace, parking and playgrounds for the remaining units, making them more desireable. Much like in the United States, modular housing has an image problem; but as gulf-times.com informs MHProNews, demand is growing for the apartments among the younger set and new families, especially in larger urban areas where restaurants and taverns are burgeoning nearby.

(Photo credit: Troy Fleece/reginaleader-post)

Fannie and Freddie Repaying Taxpayers

August 9th, 2013 Comments off

Taxpayers may yet see a profit from the $187 billion bailout by the federal government of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008. To date, Fannie Mae has seen $105 billion of the $116 billion it borrowed from Treasury repaid, including $10 billion from the most recent quarter. Of the $71 billion Freddie Mac received, as of Wednesday it has repaid $41 billion, and expects to earn $29 billion later this year. During the housing bubble years the two firms had become the main source of funding for home loans, and hardly anyone expected a payback, according to CNNMoney. The housing market improvement during the past year is the main reason for their return to profitability. As MHProNews has learned, the record low mortgage rates spurred refinancings, increasing the pairs’ fees.

(Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Yahoo!Reuters–Fannie Mae headquarters)

Manufactured Home Community on Indian Land not Governed by Province

June 7th, 2013 Comments off

When the rent for a manufactured home (MH) in an MH Community on land owned by the Sechelt Indian Band rose from $6,500 a year to $24,000, a dispute resolution officer said the increase violated British Columbia’s Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act (MHPTA). Although the Band subsequently staggered the increase over five years to eventually reach $18,000, British Columbia’s highest court ruled province government has no jurisdiction over Indian land, that is a matter for the federal government. MHProNews learned from firstperspective , the newspaper for indigenous people in Canada, that therefore, the MHPTA “is constitutionally inapplicable to any landlord and tenant relationship created by lease on Sechelt Lands.”

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

CFPB Issues Exam Procedures

June 5th, 2013 Comments off

According to mortgagenewsdaily, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued updates regarding what examiners will be checking lenders for when the new regulations go into effect Jan. 2014. Noting these are the first of what is anticipated will be numerous updates, the examination procedures concern the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). “The CFPB recognizes that the easier we make it for financial institutions and mortgage companies to follow the new regulations, the better off consumers will be,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “By releasing details of what our examiners will be looking for well in advance of the effective date of most of the rules, we are giving industry more time to adjust.” As MHProNews understands, the updates deal with compensation, appraisals, escrow accounts and qualifications for loan originators. The CFPB is coordinating its efforts with other federal government regulators that oversee financial institutions and mortgage companies to ensure there is a shared understanding of the rules.

(Image credit: HousingWire)