Residential Housing: Homes/Apartments/Condos
Categories underneath Residential Housing: Homes/Apartments/Condos:
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jun 27, 2016 Dear Landlord: Don’t Rip Me Off When it Comes To Internet Access When building owners get kickbacks from big providers it’s the tenants who lose
QUOTE: Water and heat are regulated utilities. But when it comes to Internet access, people in apartments (called Multiple Dwelling Units, or MDUs) often have the worst of both worlds: all the limitations of a utility framework — no competition, no choices — with zero protections for consumers. That means unconstrained pricing. Network operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, in cahoots with developers and landlords, routinely use a breathtaking array of kickbacks, lawyerly games of Twister, blunt threats, and downright illegal activities to lock up buildings in exclusive arrangements.
Backchannel Sep 03, 2014 How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty
QUOTE: Jackson County has just 19 municipalities, and just 15 municipal courts — less than a quarter of municipalities and courts in St. Louis County. Some of the towns in St. Louis County can derive 40 percent or more of their annual revenue from the petty fines and fees collected by their municipal courts....white people didn’t just flee St. Louis, they used whatever tools were at their disposal to prevent black people from joining them, including race-restrictive deeds and covenants until they were struck down in 1947, segregation until it was struck down in 1954, real estate pacts, and finally zoning laws.
Washington Post Jan 17, 2014 Connected TVs, fridge help launch global cyberattack
QUOTE: a global cyberattack launched from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, televisions and at least one "smart" refrigerator. It's being called possibly the first proven cyberattack to originate from connected appliances -- the so-called "Internet of Things."
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 20, 2013 Legislative panel examines mystery fee for water and sewer connections in new homes
QUOTE: unexplained and unexpected charges that has made it more difficult to afford their homes. The charge is assessed for the installation of pipes that connect new homes to the public water and sewer system. But in 1998, the Maryland General Assembly changed the law for Montgomery and Prince George’s counties to allow developers, rather than the public water and sewer commission, to lay the pipes, and then charge homeowners for the work.
Washington Post Mar 14, 2012 Waging war on shady locksmiths
QUOTE: [Google says] "We’re aware of the gaming practices happening in the locksmith industry — practices which long predate Google and have affected the Yellow Pages for decades. We’ve implemented several measures to combat this issue, including improving our spam detection algorithms and working with the locksmith industry to find solutions."
Washington Post Feb 08, 2012 States Negotiate $26 Billion Deal for Homeowners
QUOTE: After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble, state and federal officials said. It is part of a broad national settlement aimed at halting the housing market’s downward slide and holding the banks accountable for foreclosure abuses.
New York Times Dec 21, 2011 Countrywide Will Settle a Bias Suit
QUOTE: The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom.
New York Times Jun 28, 2011 DNA tests provide the poop on bad dog owners
QUOTE: among a growing number of apartment complexes implementing PooPrints. That's a program that matches samples of unclaimed dog waste to DNA collected through pets' mandatory mouth swabs in the hope of imposing greater responsibility among pet owners.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 21, 2011 Oversight Group Did Not Refer Housing Complaints
QUOTE: The federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance giants, failed to refer to criminal investigators and other authorities almost 100 complaints about possible foreclosure abuse and mortgage fraud at the companies over a recent two-year period, according to a report issued late Tuesday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
New York Times Jun 17, 2011 Avoiding the Misery of Remodeling by Choosing the Right Contractor
QUOTE: “People shop for cars more carefully than contractors,” said Mario Barbuto, who has been a general contractor for the last 25 years in the New York area. A remodeling experience gone wrong can make your life hell.
New York Times Jun 16, 2011 Who Is James Johnson?
QUOTE: Morgenson and Rosner write with barely suppressed rage, as if great crimes are being committed. But there are no crimes. This is how Washington works. Only two of the characters in this tale come off as egregiously immoral. Johnson made $100 million while supposedly helping the poor.
New York Times Mar 08, 2011 Bank Chief Rejects Idea of Reducing Home Loans
QUOTE: Showing resistance for the first time against government pressure to write off tens of billions worth of mortgage debt, Bank of America executives said on Tuesday that the idea was unworkable and warned that it would be unfair to borrowers who had managed to stay current on their loans.
New York Times Feb 15, 2011 Where there's smoke, there's ire: Condo conflict lights up in Hessian Hills
QUOTE: Residents feeling tarred and nicotined by smoking neighbors are not unusual....an anti-tobacco video from California shows how smoke can seep through apartment complexes.
Hook Feb 11, 2011 Administration Calls for Cutting Aid to Home Buyers
QUOTE: The three ideas that the report outlines for replacing Fannie and Freddie all would raise the cost of mortgage loans and push homeownership beyond the reach of some families.
New York Times Feb 01, 2011 Dakota Co-op Board Is Accused of Bias
QUOTE: The former board president, Alphonse Fletcher Jr., a prominent black Wall Street investor, has sued the Dakota, accusing the building and several of its board members of racial discrimination and defamation.
New York Times Oct 27, 2010 Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Demand Recourse
QUOTE: As lenders have reviewed tens of thousands of mortgages for errors in recent weeks, more and more homeowners are stepping forward to say that they were victims of bank mistakes — and in many cases, demanding legal recourse.
New York Times May 07, 2010 Seeking Lower Property Taxes on a House of Sinking Value
QUOTE: Challenging property taxes is becoming a national sport, as homeowners contend they are paying too much as their houses decline in value. Some, too, have lost their jobs or have seen their salaries cut and can no longer afford their hefty property taxes.
New York Times Apr 19, 2010 U.S. Offers a Hand to Those on Eviction’s Edge
QUOTE: Much like the Great Depression, when millions of previously working people came to rely on a new social safety net for their sustenance, a swelling group of formerly middle-class Americans like Mr. Moore, 30, is seeking government aid for the first time. Without help, say economists, many are at risk of slipping permanently into poverty, even as economic conditions improve.
New York Times Feb 27, 2010 Condo board has two options on delinquent fees
QUOTE: Five of the owners reliably pay their monthly condo fee, but one does not...Can we foreclose on the unit...
Washington Post Feb 27, 2010 Be aware of good-faith estimate' rules, or it could cost you
QUOTE: Depending on how loan officers provide quotes up front -- on an informal "worksheet" that carries no federal consumer protections or on a new, three-page "good-faith estimate" that comes with rock-hard guarantees -- there could be a world of difference.
Washington Post Oct 10, 2009 Debate Follows Bills to Remove Clotheslines Bans
QUOTE: Proponents argue they should not be prohibited by their neighbors or local community agreements from saving on energy bills or acting in an environmentally minded way [by hanging laundry to dry]. Opponents say the laws lifting bans erode local property rights and undermine the autonomy of private communities.
New York Times Jun 28, 2009 Renters Get Swindled and Scammed
QUOTE: IN New York City, the rental market can seem a lot like the black market. Renters are accustomed to feeling hustled, fleeced, and generally at the mercy of predatory forces beyond their control — and that’s when everything goes O.K....the busy spring-summer rental season is unfolding in a time of falling rental prices, which means too-good-to-be-true deals — the con artist’s calling card — seem more credible than they have in recent years.
New York Times Dec 26, 2008 Advice for renters if landlord faces foreclosure: 'Don't panic or stick your head in the sand,' says one credit expert
QUOTE: You're paying your bills, but your landlord isn't. And you're the one holding the eviction notice...Banks are booting good tenants onto the streets with little to no notice after seizing a property from a delinquent owner, ignoring tenant leases.
MSNBC Dec 24, 2008 Once Trusted Mortgage Pioneers, Now Pariahs
QUOTE: The Sandlers long viewed themselves — and were viewed by many others — as the mortgage industry’s model citizens. Now they too have been swept into the maelstrom surrounding who is to blame for the housing bust and the growing number of home foreclosures....the United States attorney’s office in San Francisco announced dual inquiries into whether World Savings engaged in predatory lending practices or misled investors about its financial well-being.
New York Times Nov 14, 2008 How Dogs Help Those With Autism (Tara Parker-Pope on Health)
QUOTE: Aaron has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, often considered a high-functioning form of autism, and his doctors believe a service dog will relieve anxiety and help him cope with the disorder....a lawsuit claims the building owners violated the Fair Housing Act by imposing unreasonable demands on Aaron’s parents before allowing a dog.
New York Times Oct 13, 2008 The ins and outs of reverse mortgages
QUOTE: But before rushing out to apply for a reverse mortgage, be aware that this type of loan has several downsides. Closing costs and fees can be steep, and if you are thinking about leaving your home in two to three years, this is not a financially prudent way to extract money from your home. In that case, a home equity loan is likely a cheaper option.
Bankrate.com Oct 03, 2008 What would Jesus do, about the bailout?
QUOTE: In hopes of cutting that off, Boulet has sent out an Action Alert encouraging citizens to contact their members of Congress as soon as possible and to ask them to oppose any mortgage relief for illegal aliens.
Salon Oct 02, 2008 States offer foreclosure rescue loans
QUOTE: The rate of foreclosure starts and the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process reached new highs in the second quarter of 2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Bankrate.com Aug 18, 2008 U.S. Says Many Apartments Violate Law on Disabled
QUOTE: But the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan has sent letters to about a dozen of the city’s most prominent landlords and their architects saying that some of their buildings were “not accessible to persons with disabilities,” which would constitute discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
New York Times Jun 20, 2008 Board Backs Rise in Rent Up to 8.5%
QUOTE: The board that regulates rents for New York City’s one million rent-stabilized apartments approved its highest rent increases in years at a raucous meeting on Thursday, angering tenants who said high rents were forcing the poor and working class out of the city. At a meeting punctuated by ear-splitting whistle-blowing and shouting matches between sign-waving tenants and landlords, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board authorized rent increases of up to 4.5 percent on one-year leases and 8.5 percent on two-year leases.
New York Times May 29, 2008 Racial Shift in a Progressive City Spurs Talks (Portland Journal)
QUOTE: Yet one person’s frontier, it turns out, is often another’s front porch. It has been true across the country: gentrification, which increases housing prices and tension, sometimes has racial overtones and can seem like a dirty word. Now Portland is encouraging black and white residents to talk about it, but even here in Sincere City, the conversation has been difficult.
New York Times May 28, 2008 Realtors Agree to Stop Blocking Web Listings
QUOTE: The deal frees Internet brokers and other real-estate agents offering heavily discounted commissions to operate on a level playing field with traditional brokers by using the multiple listing services that are the lifeblood of the industry, government officials said.
New York Times May 28, 2008 Square Feet: Major San Francisco Development Faces a Ballot Test
QUOTE: Proposition F reflects worries that residents will be cut off from the jobs and wealth generated by the development, and that rising property values might force them out of their homes. The proposition expresses this fear most pointedly with a requirement that half of the housing built in the new Hunters Point-Bayview project be offered for sale to working families at below-market rates.
New York Times May 25, 2008 Safety Lapses Raised Risks In Trailers for Katrina Victims: Formaldehyde Found in High Levels; 17,000 Say Homes Caused Illnesses
QUOTE: Today, industry and government experts depict the rushed procurement and construction as key failures that may have triggered a public health catastrophe among the more than 300,000 people, many of them children, who lived in FEMA homes.
Washington Post May 08, 2008 Florida to pay $11.5 million for cutting citrus trees: The jury verdict comes in the first of five lawsuits seeking compensation for backyard trees destroyed in disease-prevention efforts.
QUOTE: "This case from Day 1 has been about the constitutional guarantee of full compensation when private property is taken for a public purpose,"...an emergency effort to insulate the state's commercial citrus industry from an outbreak of citrus canker disease...
Christian Science Monitor May 08, 2008 Questions of Rent Tactics by Private Equity
QUOTE: Some residents and tenant advocates say that they began seeing what they consider a pattern of harassment of low-income tenants this year and suspect that it is a result of the new owners’ business models. Tenants have been sued repeatedly for unpaid rent that has already been received by the landlords; they have been sent false notices of rent bills, lease terminations and nonrenewals; and they have been accused of illegal sublets.
New York Times May 04, 2008 Fund Gives Tenants Little Relief
QUOTE: The District's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has a lifeline for tenants living in dangerous conditions: a multimillion-dollar fund to repair buildings when owners refuse to do the work. But in a city vexed by dozens of distressed buildings, DCRA has rarely intervened.
Washington Post Apr 14, 2008 10 crucial steps to 'short sale' buying
QUOTE: There are very few active buyers in the real estate market these days -- but every one of them seems to be looking to buy a foreclosure or a short sale.
Bankrate.com Mar 27, 2008 Law Enacted to Protect Tenants Using Vouchers
QUOTE: Many Section 8 tenants are low-income residents, and supporters of the bill argued that landlords were frequently turning away voucher holders to keep poor tenants out and were thus cutting off a much-needed form of housing for them.
New York Times Mar 22, 2008 Moving in a Wired World: Tips to Get You Connected Quickly in Your New Place
QUOTE: consider upgrading to newer technologies when you move. Planning and flexibility may enable improvements not possible where you have been living. In fact, technology can shape your home search.
Washington Post Mar 16, 2008 Suffering in Silence Over Foreclosure: In Upscale Md. Subdivision, Few Know the Troubles Neighbors Face
QUOTE: Perrywood's story is remarkable, not just for its cluster of defaults or the relative affluence of its residents. It also reflects a troubling national trend: African American homeowners and other minorities are more likely than non-Hispanic white borrowers to be saddled with the subprime loans and adjustable-rate mortgages that put them at greater risk of losing their homes.
Washington Post Feb 26, 2008 Foreclosure Aid Rising Locally, as Is Dissent
QUOTE: Some of these municipal and state efforts [to ease the home foreclosure crisis] have met resistance from people who consider the assistance undeserved and adamantly oppose anything that resembles a taxpayer bailout.
New York Times Feb 03, 2008 Protecting the Homeowners Association's Nest Egg
QUOTE: Lawmakers...are considering legislation that would beef up the accountability standards for professionals hired to manage homeowners' money. It could increase the cost of hiring those companies, but additional consumer protection is overdue for this lightly regulated industry.
Washington Post Jan 31, 2008 5 homeownership tax myths (Flexible spending accounts)
QUOTE: ...as is often the case with the U.S. tax code, homeownership tax benefits are not always clear-cut. That frequently leads to some bad information floating around. While myths, half-truths and misconceptions may abound, we've narrowed it down to five that, if you buy into them, could cost you.
Bankrate.com Jan 25, 2008 Resegregation of U.S. schools deepening: Districts in big cities of the Midwest and Northeast undergo the most change.
QUOTE: ...[some experts say] the fact is that segregated schools tend to be highly correlated with such things as school performance and the ability to attract teachers..."Once you separate kids spacially from more privileged kids, they tend to not get the same things," says [one expert]. "And we need to start thinking about how a school that's racially isolated can be preparing students for this global society we live in."
Christian Science Monitor Jan 25, 2008 Minorities for Money? (The Ethicist)
QUOTE:  I teach at a state university that offers financial incentives to hire minority candidates...  What do you think about our setting up a hidden recorder to hear what potential home buyers say about our property?
New York Times Jan 22, 2008 Feeling Misled on Home Price, Buyers Are Suing Their Agent
QUOTE: In a relationship built on trust [between real estate agents and homeowners], where promises are rarely written down and where [in some cases] there is no signed contract, what are the exact obligations of these representatives in guiding their clients through a sizzling market?
New York Times Jan 15, 2008 Crackdown on L.I. Landlords Is Criticized as Harassment of Immigrants
QUOTE: The new policy [a comprehensive rental law intended to stop the crowding of multiple families into single units] has become the latest controversy involving illegal immigrants in Suffolk County, where the county executive, Steve Levy, has won broad public approval and national attention for his aggressive campaign against illegal immigration.
New York Times Dec 03, 2007 Albany Panel to Assess Health Risks of Mold
QUOTE: But the nature and extent of the health problems mold has caused or worsened in the city and around the state are largely unknown and open to debate, and the legal requirements for properly ridding a unit or building of excessive mold have yet to be established.
New York Times Dec 03, 2007 New Orleans Hurt by Acute Rental Shortage
QUOTE: More than two years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is suffering from an acute shortage of housing that has nearly doubled the cost of rental units in the city, threatening the recovery of the region and the well-being of many residents who decided to return against the odds.
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