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Pacific Legal Foundation

PLF challenges abuse of foreclosure process to fatten public coffers

The full Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should hear the constitutional takings lawsuit brought by several small property owners — including a financially struggling church — who were victimized by a Michigan law that lets local governments seize and sell people’s property for delinquent taxes and deposit the excess proceeds in government coffers instead of returning them to the owners
DHCD

DHCD Finances 36 Affordable Rental Units in Capitol Riverfront Area

The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has closed a loan agreement to produce 36 new affordable rental housing units in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood of Ward 6 through funding from the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) and federal tax credits.
32BJ SEIU

32BJ SEIU Hails Stephanie Hansen Victory

the union representing Delaware commercial office cleaners and property service workers—today celebrated the election of Stephanie Hansen to the DE State Senate. “Stephanie Hansen’s victory affirms that despite what is happening in Washington, voters want leaders who will fight for working families and protect the most vulnerable among us. We must act locally to resist the intolerance and destruction that is happening nationally.
Electronic

Latest data show changing household energy characteristics

An average of 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015, down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009, according to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), released today by the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA). The number of homes with three or more televisions declined from the previous survey conducted in 2009, and a larger share of households reported not using a television at all.
NAR

Pending Home Sales Weaken in January

Insufficient supply levels led to a lull in contract activity in the Midwest and West, which dragged down pending home sales in January to their lowest level in a year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 2.8 percent to 106.4 in January from an upwardly revised 109.5 in December 2016.
Energy

ARPA-E Projects Receive more than $1.8 Billion in Private Follow-on Funding for Transformational Energy...

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced that a group of 74 project teams has attracted over $1.8 billion in private sector follow-on funding since the agency’s founding in 2009. The announcement was made at the eighth annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
USDOJ

Building Contractor Company Executive Sentenced to 68 Months in Prison for Theft from Labor...

The owner and CEO of a Greenbelt, Maryland building contracting company was sentenced to 68 months in prison for stealing more than $1.7 million from Local 657 of the Laborers Union of North America (LIUNA) and other related offenses
HUD

HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU ANNOUNCE NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN JANUARY 2017

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau today jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for January 2017
NAHB

New Home Sales Start Year on a Positive Note

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 3.7 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau
JosABank_Sleep Number

Hanley Investment Group Arranges Purchase of New Two-Tenant Net-Lease Investment in Reno, Nev. for...

Hanley Investment Group, a nationally-recognized real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, announced today that the firm arranged the purchase of a new construction two-tenant net-lease retail investment in Reno, Nev. The 7,624-square-foot building is located at 6350 S. Virginia Street and is occupied by Jos. A. Bank and Sleep Number. The purchase price was $4.9 million, which represented a cap rate of 6.48 percent
ABA

ABA Conference: Lenders Gain Insight into the Future of Mortgage Lending

Real estate lenders will explore ways to broaden their competitive edge and enhance their lending potential at the American Bankers Association’s Real Estate Lending Conference in Orlando, March 29-31.
SEIA

Industry Leader Joins SEIA as Director of External Affairs

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has hired Dana Sleeper to lead the trade association’s new external affairs operation. As director of external affairs, Sleeper will work with a diverse set of existing and potential partners in a role well-aligned with her skills. In this capacity, she will enhance coordination among stakeholders with an interest in seeing solar expand the role it is playing in America’s economic growth.
NIBS

Institute Sunsets High Performance Building Council

A decade after the National Institute of Building Sciences established the High Performance Building Council (HPBC), the Institute’s Board of Directors has voted to successfully sunset the program.
USDOJ

Company to Pay $9.5 Million for False Reporting of Safety Inspections and Clean Water...

Wood Group PSN Inc., a Nevada corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas, was ordered to pay $9.5 million today in two separate cases involving their conduct in the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, Wood Group PSN was ordered to pay $7 million for falsely reporting over several years that personnel had performed safety inspections on offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico in the Western District of Louisiana, and $1.8 million for negligently discharging oil into the Gulf of Mexico in violation of the Clean Water Act after an explosion on an offshore facility in the Eastern District of Louisiana, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeff Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment
NAHB

Apartment and Condominium Market Keeps Momentum Going in Fourth Quarter

The Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), posted a gain of two points to 55 in the fourth quarter. The MPI has been at 50 or above for five straight years.
NAHB

NAHB Associates Committee Honors Dedicated Members

Four longtime members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) were inducted recently into the Society of Honored Associates, a lifetime award intended to distinguish those members who have made invaluable contributions to the building industry. The prestigious award is given to Associate members who are chosen as finalists for the Associate of the Year Award
NAR

Stable Growth Expected for Commercial Real Estate in 2017

Steered ahead by strengthening demand in smaller markets, the commercial real estate sector should remain on stable ground in 2017 and offer decent returns for investors, according to the latest National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast.
FTC

Final Defendant in Alleged Mortgage Relief Scam Settles FTC Charges

The final defendant in an alleged mortgage relief scam that preyed upon distressed homeowners will be banned from selling mortgage or debt relief services under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
CAP

Trump’s Reckless Approach to U.S.-Mexico Relations Endangers Water Security in the West

The Trump administration’s stumbling and reckless approach to U.S.-Mexico relations could have profound and damaging side effects on water security in the American West, according to a new study from the Center for American Progress

Teams from Carnegie Mellon, Université Laval, University of Maryland, and University of Texas at...

Teams from Carnegie Mellon University, Université Laval in Quebec, the University of Maryland, and the University of Texas at Austin have been selected as the four finalists for the 15th annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Student Competition, an ideas competition that provides students the opportunity to devise a comprehensive design and development scheme for an actual, large-scale site in an urban area. The four teams are advancing to the final round of the competition in April, where they will compete for a $50,000 first place prize.
Natural Resources

Committee Leaders Request a 120-Day Extension to EPA’s Proposed Rule

On Friday, February 17, 2017, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) sent a letter to Acting Administrator McCabe at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension to the comment period for the proposed rule, “Financial Responsibility Requirements Under CERCLA §108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry,” that was published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2017.
ASE

Over 3 Million In U.S. Now Work In Clean Energy

National business groups representing the range and breadth of clean energy companies in the United States cheered government statistics showing their industries support more than 3 million American jobs – equal to the employment of retail stores across the country, and twice as many jobs as involved in construction of buildings. This is based on 2016 data recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its second annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report.
NAR

Existing-Home Sales Jump in January

Existing-home sales stepped out to a fast start in 2017, surpassing a recent cyclical high and increasing in January to the fastest pace in almost a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest saw sales gains last month.
AGC

ACOSTA HIGHLY QUALIFIED TO SERVE AS LABOR SECRETARY, CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION OFFICIAL SAYS

Associated General Contractors of America to Push for Swift Confirmation So He Can Focus on Rolling Back Needless Regulatory Burdens. The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement today on the nomination of Alexander Acosta to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor
NAHB

Statement from NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald on Congressional Effort to Overturn OSHA Recordkeeping “Volks”...

Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, today issued the following statement regarding the joint resolution of disapproval introduced today to overturn OSHA’s recordkeeping rule known as the “Volks” rule
Eric Wohl

Phillips Edison Sells Five Shopping Centers Totaling 583,000 SF

Hanley Investment Group, a nationally-recognized real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, announced today that in separate transactions Hanley Investment Group's Executive Vice President Eric Wohl served as advisor in bringing the buyer and seller together in the sale of five shopping centers owned by Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm Phillips Edison & Company, one of the nation’s largest owners and managers of grocery-anchored shopping centers. The buyer was Albanese Cormier Holdings, a commercial real estate investment company based in Beaumont, Texas
NARI

UNICO AND NARI PARTNER FOR BETTER HVAC SOLUTIONS IN REMODELING PROJECTS

Unico, Inc., maker of small-duct heating and air conditioning systems, has launched a major partnership with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the largest and most prominent professional organization for remodeling companies. The partnership will focus on collaborating with remodeling contractors who face the challenges of adding central air in older homes, as well as options for home additions that would be impossible to design with conventional HVAC systems.
Manny Gonzalez

Thought-Leader Manny Gonzalez of KTGY to Speak on Housing Trends of Today and Beyond

International award-winning KTGY Architecture + Planning announced today that Manny Gonzalez, FAIA, LEED AP, managing principal of the firm’s Los Angeles office, will serve as keynote speaker for a live webcast scheduled to air on February 22, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. ET on MultifamilyBiz.com, the largest media platform in the multifamily housing industry.
Environment America

Environment America: Scott Pruitt Won’t Protect America’s Air, Water or Families

The Senate voted to approve President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Environment America’s Executive Director, Margie Alt, issued the following statement in response
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Norton Cites a Victory as D.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity Act’ Takes Effect Tomorrow, But...

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said that the District of Columbia’s medical aid-in-dying bill, the Death with Dignity Act, will take effect tomorrow, Saturday, February 18, 2017. Under the Home Rule Act, D.C. bills take effect upon the expiration of a congressional review period, unless a joint resolution disapproving a bill is enacted into law during the review period. The Death with Dignity Act was transmitted by the D.C. Council to the House and Senate on January 6, 2017, for a 30-legislative-day review period.

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ASE

Over 3 Million In U.S. Now Work In Clean Energy

National business groups representing the range and breadth of clean energy companies in the United States cheered government statistics showing their industries support more than 3 million American jobs – equal to the employment of retail stores across the country, and twice as many jobs as involved in construction of buildings. This is based on 2016 data recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in its second annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report.

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Pacific Legal Foundation

PLF challenges abuse of foreclosure process to fatten public coffers

The full Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should hear the constitutional takings lawsuit brought by several small property owners — including a financially struggling church — who were victimized by a Michigan law that lets local governments seize and sell people’s property for delinquent taxes and deposit the excess proceeds in government coffers instead of returning them to the owners

Editors’ Picks

ERC and NCLR Investigation Uncovers Housing Discrimination against Latinos in Three...

NEW ORLEANS, - July 22, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- Today the (ERC) — a national non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to equal opportunity for all—and The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) —the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—unveiled the results of a testing-based investigation documenting adverse and differential treatment against prospective Latino renters and homebuyers in Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and San Antonio, Texas. Sotheby's Homes  Fisher Investments on Crunchbase and ALLRMC.COM

Eliminating Prevailing Wage Undercuts Middle Class Americans

With his introduction of legislation to eliminate prevailing wage on federal infrastructure and construction projects this week, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has leveled a vicious attack on livelihoods of millions of middle class workers. Crunchbase: Fisher Investments profile