April 2013

NAHB Advises Congress Against Eliminating Housing Tax Incentives

Economists and politicians repeatedly tout the housing recovery as crucial to the country’s economic growth.  Congress is currently debating whether to maintain or eliminate a number of housing tax incentives that encourage Americans to buy or rent property.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) waded into the debate last week, and urged Congress to keep the tax incentives in place.

Mortgage Rates Fall, Boost Housing Sales

According to Freddie Mac, all national mortgage rates declined last week, and some options set new record lows.  Economists believe the declines are fueling the rebound in housing, as more Americans reenter the market to buy a home of their own.

CDC Recommends Smoking Ban In Apartments and Subsidized Housing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently studied the harmful effects of allowing tenants to smoke in subsidized housing and apartment complexes.  The organization recommended a national ban on smoking within subsidized housing units to protect the health of innocents, and to save over $521 million in reduced healthcare and renovation expenditures.

Sinkhole Opens In Boulder, Colorado

One week ago, a water main burst in downtown Chicago due to heavy rainfall, creating a sinkhole in the middle of a busy city street.  This week, a similar situation occurred near the University of Colorado in Boulder, when a large portion of Folsom Street collapsed into a giant sinkhole.

Floridians Advised To Acquire Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season

Floridians prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes every year, with the season typically beginning on or around June 1.  Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says new homeowners should acquire flood insurance before the stormy weather makes landfall, and also before flood insurance rates increase as scheduled on October 1.

Pew Research Center Confirms Widening Income Gap In America

The gap between affluent and middle class Americans grew significantly during the recession, according to a new report released by the Pew Research Center in Washington.  Richard Fry, the author of the report, says his worst fears were confirmed by the study.

Teach Children To Save

Thousands of banks recognized April 23 as the 17th annual ‘Teach Children To Save Day.” The day is part of a weeklong financial education program, and is sponsored by the American Bankers Association (ABA).  The goal of the campaign is to teach children about the importance of saving, and also to teach parents about proper ways to explain the complicated concept of money.

Reconstruction Begins On Addison Terrace Public Housing

The city of Pittsburgh recently committed to reconstructing the Addison Terrace, the oldest public housing community in town.  Addison Terrace lies within the Hill District, but developers plan to extend the community south to Centre Avenue.  The reconstruction is supported by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), which hopes to reduce poverty in the area.

Crowdfunding Site Raises Money For National Hero

Following the Boston bombings last week, President Obama assured Americans that the nation wouldn’t be shaken by terror.  Many Bostonians credit Jeff Bauman, a spectator at the marathon who lost both his legs in the attack, for helping authorities find the perpetrators.  Bauman’s friends created a crowdfunding page to help pay for his medical care because Bauman doesn’t have health insurance.

Broken Water Main Opens Chicago Sinkhole

Americans are dealing with an unusually high number of sinkholes this spring.  A massive sinkhole swallowed a man alive in Florida last month, shocking those in the community and making headlines across the country.  This week in Chicago, a huge amount of rain pummeled the city’s aging infrastructure, bursting a water main and opening up a sinkhole that swallowed cars and disrupted traffic.