January 17, 2017
- Yesterday, HUD released its third set of revisions for implementing the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Since its creation, nearly 60,000 public housing units have completed conversion to Section 8 assistance under RAD, leveraging over $3.8 billion for construction and rehab. This third revision builds on the program’s success and lessons learned in order to ensure that the program’s pace continues and more properties can be preserved and transformed. HUD has published a list of key changes to RAD as well as a blackline version showing the changes made in Revision 3 from Revision 2.
- The Federal Register has published two HUD notices today regarding assessment tools for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. The first notice announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved HUD’s request to renew the Assessment Tool for use by local governments that receive formula funding from HUD when conducting and submitting their own Assessment of Fair Housing. The second notice announces that the Assessment Tool for use by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) receiving assistance under the United States Housing Act of 1937 has been approved by OMB. While this tool has been approved, PHAs are not required to conduct and submit an Assessment of Fair Housing until HUD provides them with data.
January 16, 2017
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, the opening of his last speech, I’ve Been to the Mountaintop:
Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world. I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow.
Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there.
I would move on by Greece and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon. And I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would even go by the way that the man for whom I am named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn’t stop there.
I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but “fear itself.” But I wouldn’t stop there.
Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy.”
Now that’s a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has received a settlement offer from real estate developer Lobsang Dargey in a $136 million EB-5 fraud case playing out in Washington federal court, signaling a possible resolution to the high-profile case.
- Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse AG and other megabanks on Wednesday urged a New York state judge to ditch multiple lawsuits over nearly $2 billion worth of residential mortgage-backed securities brought by a stand-in for defunct Belgian banking giant Fortis Bank NV/SA
- Moody’s Corp. said Friday it has agreed to pay $864 million in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and 21 states over the ratings agency’s work on residential mortgage backed securities and other products whose crashes led to the financial crisis.
January 13, 2017
US News & World Report quoted me in Here’s What We Know About Donald Trump’s Trust Fund. It opens,
With all the talk about how Donald Trump will be handling his vast business empire as he assumes the presidency, some questions were finally answered this week, and this much is clear: Donald Trump is putting his business assets in a trust.
“Through the trust agreement, he has relinquished leadership and management of the Trump Organization to his sons Don and Eric, and a longtime Trump executive, Alan Weiselberg,” says Sheri Dillon, a lawyer for the president-elect.
But what does that mean?
What is a trust to begin with? A trust is a legal structure with three main parties: The trustor, trustee and beneficiary. The trustor gives another party, the trustee, the right to manage the specified assets for the benefit of its designated beneficiaries.
“According to Trump, his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as a business associate, would be the trustees. After transferring the assets to the trust, Trump could then be a beneficiary of the trust,” says David Reiss, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School. “The trustees administer the affairs of the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. The beneficiary receives the income from the trust or the property within the trust.”
Trump has previously said his children will be the primary financial beneficiaries of the trust, but Trump made it clear that he planned on returning to the Trump Organization when his presidency is over. At that point, it’s possible Trump could have a fat check waiting for him, depending on the trust’s structure.
“The trust’s income or property could be doled out on an ongoing basis or deferred to some future point in time, depending on the terms of the trust,” Reiss says.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development completed a study analyzing the Boston, Massachusetts housing market. The study found a total need of over 40,000 rental and sales units required to house the residents of Boston, Massachusetts. Additionally, the study uncovers the current economic status of the city as a whole and its relation to housing.
- The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has released 22.6 billion dollars to their three housing programs in the U.S. The three housing programs vary in their support to the public. Their services include loan modification to ensure that residents can remain in their home and refinancing one’s loan to ensure it is federally insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
- Colorado school districts and politicians banned together to provide housing to staff members and students. Rentals in the Colorado have increased at rapid rates. As a result, many school districts have been building their own housing developments to support the housing crisis.
- Anand Parekh and Dennis Shea gave Ben Carson guidelines to help ensure Americans are healthy and have the appropriate housing. The four guidelines range from healthcare, broadband access, to senior living.
- Since 2010, foreclosures in the U.S. have decreased dramatically, a whopping 78.2%. As of November 2016, foreclosures were down 30%. This comes as no surprise because the economy is better and more Americans are employed.