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News Clips

The MReport , Wednesday, July 01, 2015
(RECAP: Many borrowers are unaware of their homebuying power and are underestimating their mortgage eligibility, according to a recent study by Genworth Mortgage Insurance, a unit of Genworth Financial, Inc. The results showed that 66 percent of the 113 lending executives surveyed feel that many borrowers who are eligible for mortgages do not feel that they can realistically purchase a home.)
Potomac Local , Tuesday, June 30, 2015
(RECAP: Housing can be expensive. And for those that are economically challenged, the cost of housing in the Northern Virginia region can be a major hurdle that impacts their lives. According to a Prince William rental market comparison, a one bedroom apartment runs $961, a two bedroom runs $1582 and a three bedroom runs $1,801 per month. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the average wage for individuals in Prince William is $832 per week – $3328 per month. This is lower than the national average according to the BLS, which is $1027 per week – $4108 per month.)
The Roanoke Times , Tuesday, June 30, 2015
(RECAP: County supervisors have wanted for years to sell the old Blacksburg Middle School site and use the proceeds and associated tax revenues to help pay for recent school construction or a lengthy list of needed school repairs and renovations. The town controls the zoning of the property, and the town council must approve the rezoning needed for anything other than certain residential development there. The split between owning and zoning have led to a lengthy standoff between the two government bodies, with county officials accusing their town counterparts of dragging their feet and town officials saying that they are holding out for a mixed-use development that will boost downtown’s residential and commercial mix.)
The Free Lance-Star , Monday, June 29, 2015
(RECAP: After many false starts, new life seems to be coming to Aquia Town Center. Ramco–Gershenson Properties Trust has closed on its deal to sell the 25-acre center in northern Stafford County to Mosaic Realty Partners for $6.15 million. Mosaic hopes to bring in a supermarket that isn’t operating anywhere else in Stafford and create a public park in the middle of the center surrounded by 30 shops and eateries. Meanwhile, Franklin Johnston Group out of Virginia Beach has broken ground on seven apartment buildings with 256 units plus a clubhouse. The group has said it hopes to finish building by the end of 2016. Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde, who was also involved in discussions, has called it Stafford’s first work–live–shop community.)
The Washington Post , Monday, June 29, 2015
(RECAP: Worried about density, residents in the Seven Corners area of Northern Virginia are pushing to scale down a redevelopment plan meant to ease traffic congestion at one of the region’s worst intersections while creating new businesses and as many as 6,000 homes. But opposition from some nearby residential areas has grown. In addition to the call for less residential density, the alternative proposal calls for a former elementary school in the neighborhood to be returned to the county school system and for all 589 low-income apartments in the area to be replaced with comparable affordable housing.)
HousingWire , Monday, June 29, 2015
(RECAP: Mortgage originations are booming, increasing nearly 75% from last year, according to data from the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report. Total mortgage origination balances hit $466 billion in the first quarter, a 74.4% increase from the same time a year ago. Majority of the growth is attributed to first mortgages, which grew 79.9% versus the first quarter of 2014 to $430 billion.)
NCSHA, Friday, June 26, 2015
(RECAP: On June 22, HUD published new background resources for the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) program, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, a summary of the interim rule, and a video on HUD’s YouTube channel providing an overview presentation of HTF. The FAQ addresses questions about the HTF Annual Action Plan, including how and when states can submit HTF allocation plans to HUD. The FAQ confirms that Davis-Bacon Labor Standards will not apply to HTF.)
JDSupra Business Advisor , Friday, June 26, 2015
(RECAP: While Inclusive Communities has some housing advocates cheering, it imposes limitations that mitigate its effects. The Court held that a racial imbalance, without more, does not establish a prima facie case of discrimination, and directed lower courts to “examine with care” the claims presented at the pleading stage. The Court further directed that remedial orders in disparate impact cases must “concentrate on the elimination of the offending practice” and employ “race-neutral [remedial] means.”)
The Washington Post , Thursday, June 25, 2015
(RECAP: Civil rights groups and the Obama administration won a major victory Thursday as the Supreme Court upheld a tool that advocates argue is essential to fighting housing discrimination and patterns of segregation that have persisted in America for decades. In the 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court ruled that the 1968 Fair Housing Act doesn't solely ban overt discrimination in the housing market. The court said the law can also prohibit seemingly race-neutral policies that have the effect of disproportionately harming minorities and other protected groups, even if there is no overt evidence of bias behind them.)
NCSHA, Thursday, June 25, 2015
(RECAP: Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 20 to 10 to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill. The bill would effectively eliminate the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program—a critical program that is central to HFAs’ ability to meet their states’ affordable housing needs. It provides just $66 million – a staggering reduction of 93% from HOME’s already record-low FY 2015 funding level of $900 million.)
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