Addressing the State of the Union

first_img Tagged with: Brian Montgomery CFPB Fannie Mae FHA FHFA Freddie Mac Home Home Prices HOUSING Housing Finance Reform Kathy Kraninger Mark Calabria S&P CoreLogic Se. Mike Crapo State of the Union Steve Mnuchin  Print This Post in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News February 5, 2019 4,025 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Bipartisanship was the theme throughout President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Touching upon some of the key factors that have propelled the U.S. economy such as a tight jobs market, low unemployment rates, and a fast GDP growth, all of which have also impacted the housing industry, Trump declared that the “State of our Union is strong.” However, he said that “victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country.”The border wall, trade talks, and the recent government shutdown were some of the prominent topics that he touched upon during his State of the Union speech that lasted more than an hour. Stressing that it was time to redefine the American middle-class Trump said that it was time for both parties to come together to make “our communities safer, families stronger and our middle-class bigger and more prosperous than ever before.”Commenting on the address, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson said that the address offered a strong vision of unity that put the country before politics and that both parties in Congress work together to fix the broken immigration system. “There is no challenge we cannot overcome if we embrace the bipartisan, common-sense approach our President outlined tonight,” he said.The next big priority President Trump said was the “great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure.” Trump said that he was ready to work with Congress to pass an infrastructure bill to that effect.Applauding this commitment, National Association of Realtors President John Smaby said that voters throughout the country had made clear their desire to see lawmakers secure bipartisan infrastructure reform. “The National Association of Realtors®, together with our 1.3 million members, understands the critical role infrastructure improvements play in maintaining property values, creating livable neighborhoods and developing communities in which businesses can succeed,” Smaby said.The State of the Union address was also a good time to take a look at the state of the housing industry, which saw three factors defining it in 2018—inventory, rising mortgage rates, and a cooling down of home price growth. The industry also saw some key legislation passed during the year to strengthen housing as well as appointments to leadership positions across the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).The Big PictureThe housing market is seeing some stability after getting a late boost at the end of 2018 as mortgage rates declined and home price growth started showing signs of slowing down. According to Freddie Mac’s latest forecast, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages began to let up at the end of the year, after climbing for several months, averaging 4.6 percent in 2018 and dropping to a nine-month low of 4.45 percent in early January.“Despite the weakening of the housing market in 2018, early 2019 data signals a possible turnaround for the year to come,” said Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac. “This recent uptick in activity proves that homebuyers are very sensitive to changing interest rates and will likely respond positively if mortgage rates remain below five percent.”“Home prices are still rising, but more slowly than in recent months,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. He indicated that the pace of prices is “being dampened by declining sales of existing homes and weaker affordability.”On a year-over-year, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index covering all nine U.S. census divisions, revealed a 5.2 percent annual gain in November, down from 5.3 percent in the previous month. The 10-city composite annual increase is at 4.3 percent, dropping from 4.7 percent in the previous month. On the other hand, the 20-city composite reflected a 4.7 percent year-over-year gain, a decline from 5 percent in October 2018.According to Fannie Mae, home affordability continues to be a challenge across the country with rising interest rates and continued home price appreciation discouraging both first-time and move-up homebuyers. As a result, through its quarterly lender sentiment survey, Fannie Mae asked senior mortgage executives their views on improving housing affordability for low- and moderate-income homebuyers.Increasing the supply of housing stock is the key to making housing affordable to a larger population of homebuyers, according to the lenders who responded to Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey for the fourth quarter of 2018. Some of the other ideas put forth by them included offering consumer subsidies as well as more loan choices such as mortgages involving low down payments or loans including renovation costs.”In the face of the perceived impacts of non-mortgage supply constraints, it appears that further easing of consumer credit standards would be more likely to contribute to stronger home price appreciation than expanding sustainable homeownership,” said Mark Palim, VP and Deputy Chief Economist at Fannie Mae in his Perspectives blog.Housing Finance Reform in the Cards?With the overall housing market expected to remain stable during the year, housing finance reform, is likely to be a key focus area for the Senate Banking Committee. The committee’s Chairman, Sen. Mike Crapo, recently introduced an outline for housing finance legislation, which, according to a statement by Crapo, incorporates elements of the various “plans and principles for housing finance reform that have been previously discussed by legislators, analysts, stakeholders, and thought leaders.””Protecting American taxpayers by ensuring the safety and stability of the United States housing finance system is a priority for the Treasury Department,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in response to the outline released by Crapo. “The outline for housing reform legislation released by Chairman Crapo is a productive first step toward that goal, and I applaud him for his efforts.”This legislation outline comes close on the heels of the White House’s statement that it would announce a framework for “the development of a policy for comprehensive housing finance reform shortly,” and that it had not yet made a decision on any housing finance reform plan. The announcement was made within weeks of FHFA Acting Director, Joseph Otting’s remarks to staffers that the agency would be announcing plans to remove the GSEs from conservatorship soon.Otting is one of the many appointees who was nominated by the Trump administration to key positions in the housing industry last year.Nominations and AppointmentsNew appointments to key positions within regulatory bodies like the FHA and the CFPB along with nominations to head the FHFA were followed closely during the year. Brian Montgomery, who had been nominated by the President for the position of Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in November 2017, was approved by the Senate by a vote of 74-33 in May 2018. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve with Secretary Carson and the team at HUD to further equal access to affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities and seek solutions to restore vitality to the housing market,” Montgomery said in a statement.In November, Kathleen Kraninger succeeded Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to become the Director of the CFPB after a Senate vote confirmed her nomination. “As Congress continues its efforts to reform the Bureau into a law enforcement agency that truly protects consumers and is accountable to the people, I am confident that with her experience and knowledge of budget management, Kathy will excel as Director of the Bureau,” said Jeb Hensarling, then the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. “I look forward to working with her, the Trump Administration and House and Senate Democrats to put real reforms in place that protects consumers.”With the Democrats taking over the House Financial Services Committee after the mid-term elections, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal) succeeded Hensarling as the Chair of the House Financial Committee Chairwoman.In December, the Trump administration announced the nomination of Dr. Mark Calabria, who is currently the Chief Economist to Vice President Mike Pence, to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency for five years after the term of the current FHFA Director, Mel Watt expires in January.If confirmed, Calabria would have significant influence over the housing finance market at the FHFA. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Previous: Fitch: Servicers Prepared for Economic Downturn Next: Fannie Mae Survey: Big Banks vs. Big Tech Share 1Save Home / Daily Dose / Addressing the State of the Union The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Brian Montgomery CFPB Fannie Mae FHA FHFA Freddie Mac Home Home Prices HOUSING Housing Finance Reform Kathy Kraninger Mark Calabria S&P CoreLogic Se. Mike Crapo State of the Union Steve Mnuchin 2019-02-05 Radhika Ojha Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img About Author: Radhika Ojha The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Subscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Addressing the State of the Union Sign up for DS News Daily last_img read more

West Nile case count lower than last year’s

first_img The CDC says evidence of West Nile virus has been found in blood given by 85 donors this year. Three donors subsequently had neuroinvasive illness, and 15 donors had West Nile fever. Sep 2, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Another 210 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported in the past week, but the case count this year remains well below last year’s number at this point, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A total of 1,053 cases, with 28 deaths, have been reported in 36 states, the CDC says in the Sep 3 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That compares with 1,856 cases and 37 deaths as of Sep 3, 2003. The CDC reported 414 cases for the week of Aug 28 to Sep 3, 2003. CDC. West Nile virus activity—United States, August 25-31, 2004. MMWR 2004;53(34):795-6 [Full text] California, with 326 cases, has replaced Arizona (316 cases) as the hardest-hit state this year, according to the CDC figures. The two states together account for 61% of all cases. Colorado has had 141 cases; no other state has had more than 37. California has had nine deaths and Arizona has had four.last_img read more

Duduzile Zozo’s mother asks: Why?

first_img26 July 2013“I’m very hurt because I was not aware that her sexuality affected other people, while the family didn’t have a problem with her choices. She loved herself the way she was. I don’t know what it is that disgusted them when they looked at her.”These are the words spoken by Thoziwe Zozo, a mother whose life has been torn apart by the senseless killing of her daughter, Duduzile Zozo.Zozo, 55, cannot come to terms with the brutal way in which her daughter’s life was snuffed out at the age of 26. Duduzile is one of the latest victims of what has comet to be termed “corrective” rape. Her “sin”, in the eyes of her attacker(s), was being a lesbian.Duduzile’s half-naked body was discovered at a house about 10 metres from her home in Thokoza, south-east of Johannesburg, late last month. She had been brutally raped and murdered.‘How did her being a lesbian affect them?’Time passes slowly for Thoziwe Zozo, despite the fact that she has other responsibilities, including caring for her four children and three grandchildren. The pain of knowing that the spot where her daughter was murdered is just down the street becomes too much. Not even the walls of the one-room corrugated iron house she shares with her family have enough steel to block out the memory.Zozo thinks moving to a new area might help. “Maybe I would start healing then, but it’s not easy passing that spot on a daily basis,” she told SAnews on Thursday. “It always brings back bad memories for me.”Even if she moves, she will carry her daughter in her heart, which is heavy with unanswered questions. Like anyone who has been in her shoes, all she wants to know is why.“When they find the [murderers], I would like to ask them what is it that my daughter did to them, because I don’t understand why an outsider can be affected by her being a lesbian. Was she not good enough to walk in the streets?”Zozo’s neighbour, Joyce Ngejani, who described Duduzile as a soft-spoken person, said the community was still in shock. Worse still was the fear that the perpetrators were still roaming the streets, free to continue raping and murdering innocent women.“We were all shocked and hurt, no one believed it,” Ngejani said on Thursday. “Duduzile never got into a fight with anyone. She used to play soccer and walked with other boys on the street. We have confidence in government that one day the [killers] will be caught. But we fear that while they are still on the loose; more women could become victims.”The right to chooseMinister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana paid a visit to the Zozo family on Thursday.Xingwana told Zozo she felt her pain, and that the government would do all it could to ensure that justice was served. She added that her department would try to help the Zozos get a decent house where they could live with dignity and in safety.Later on Thursday, Xingwana visited a local police station to check on the progress on Duduzile’s case. She also held a consultative meeting with the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.Xingwana was hopeful that after her meeting with the police, there would be more community education about the rights of South Africans to express their sexual orientation, and the right to choice, which is enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.“What’s important is that we need to educate our communities about these rights and Constitution and Bill of Right,” Xingwana said. “It is clear that women cannot be murdered in the community and harassed just because they are lesbians. People need to understand the right of association and right to choice. We need to step up this campaign.”Xingwana could not say much about Duduzile’s case as the matter is sub judice.“There have been a number of suspects that have been arrested so far, but the evidence did not link them to the killing. But we will ensure that those who are responsible get tough sentences.”Source: read more

2018 Corn Harvest Cab Cam – Paul Ralston, Hardin County

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 2018 will give Hardin County farmer Paul Ralston some of the best corn yields he has ever seen and the soybeans aren’t to shabby either. Brought to you by Fennig Equipment, the Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins jumps in for a corn harvest Cab Cam.last_img

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Special casual leave for Food dept officials

first_imgKolkata: Special casual leave has been granted for officials in the Food and Supplies department, who will be attending the state conference of Paschim Banga Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Federation.The conference will be held on July 14 and 15 at Rabindra Bhavan at Dum Dum. According to an order, “permission for station leave and special casual leave for the delegates, office bearers, representatives and participants for attending the conference is granted.” Station leave is permitted for all members. Half day casual leave on July 13 and 16 is also granted for those who will come from nearby districts.last_img

Price Map App Get the required product at best price

first_imgIndians like to get the best deal and for this, they will visit as many shops as possible. But, you do not have to roam around anymore. Price Map Buyer app gets you the bazaar on the mobile phone.The app helps you to connect to the nearest shop offering the best price on the product you want, without leaving the comfort of your living room.Price map works on link sharing mechanism, i.e. you find what you want to buy online on your favourite shopping app/website and share the link with Price Map Buyer installed on your phone. If you are not sure how link share works, they provide help video “How Price Map Works” on the menu tab.Once you have shared a link, Price Map will show nearby shops, where you can find forthe required product. Select markets ofyour choice and send the query. Shopkeepers from selected markets will revert with availability and best price. View the best deal, get connected to the seller and now you pretty much know which shop to go to and get the product at best price.last_img read more

Not Sure Why Your Newborn Is Crying Theres an App for That

first_img Imagine this. You’re a nervous new parent. It’s 2 a.m., you’re dead-tired and your newborn is screaming at the top of her tiny lungs. Sound the parental panic alarm. Step One: Figure out what’s making her cry? Step Two: Fix it and fast.Or go the lazy route and leave it to an algorithm. Ignore your instincts, whip out your smartphone and launch Baby Cries Translator. It’s the latest iffy app designed to help fumbling parental noobs decode infant cries in their many nerve-rattling forms — the hungry cry, the owie cry, the I’m pooped cry and, yes, the always joyful I just pooped cry purportedly included.Image Credit: Apple iTunesRelated: Screaming Babies on a Plane? This Couple’s Solution is a Poignant Lesson in Travel Etiquette.Lucky for you, exhausted new mamas and papas, the app’s creator, Chuan-yu Chang, a professor at Taiwan’s National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, did the hard work of understanding your baby’s baffling shrieks and whimpers for you.To create the machine learning backbone of the app, he enlisted researchers to record approximately 200,000 cries from 100 newborns over a 2-year period. Fun! Next, all the wee yelps and hollers were uploaded into a database in the cloud. Then Chang analyzed the screams to “distinguish the subtle differences in acoustics” with his colleague, Dr. Chen Si-da, Reuters reports. Chang claims the app boasts an accuracy rate of 92 percent among infants two weeks old or younger.Related: Baby Chakra Is Making Parenting a Less Tedious AffairTo use Baby Cries Translator, enter your bundle of joy’s birth date and, oddly, her nationality. Then press the app’s record button (at the bottom of a frowny-faced baby illustration). Gather your patience because you must capture 10 whole seconds of your mini-me emotionally coming undone.The sound of her meltdown, hissyfit or what have you, will then be compared against the crying baby database. And, seconds later, you’ll know why she’s upset. Maybe. It’s on you to soothe her accordingly. There’s no app capable of replacing a mother’s or father’s unabiding love. Not yet at least and not ever, we hope.Baby Cries Translator, launched last year and recently updated, costs $2.74 for Android in the Google Play store and $2.99 for iOS in the Apple App Store, along with a chunk of your parental pride.Related: These 3 Baby Photos Mark Zuckerberg Shared on Facebook Will Melt Your Heart 3 min read December 30, 2015last_img read more