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Forbes: Would You Prepare Your Home For A Disaster If It Were Tax Deductible?
Wherever you may stand on the climate change debate (cue the angry comments!), it’s undeniable that Mother Nature has grown a bit unpredictable in exacting her revenge for hairspray and Styrofoam. Superstorms in New Jersey. Mudslides in Colorado. Cyclones in India. But while we may not know where the next natural disaster is going to hit, one House Republican is doing his best to encourage people to be prepared.

Transformative Science: Energy Efficiency at the National Labs
At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Research Support Facility (RSF) houses about 1,300 federal employees and is one of the largest net-zero office buildings in the world — meaning it produces as much energy as it consumes. Energy efficiency features at the RSF include daylighting, low-emissivity windows, building orientation, and super insulation.

Energy Efficiency in National New

Testing New Waters: The Simmons Foundation Awards New Grants to Help Houston-Area Women Veterans
The Simmons Foundation has been a member of the local chapter of Funders Together to End Homelessness (FTEH) for two years. Our FTEH group has spent a tremendous amount of time educating funders about the myriad of issues surrounding homeless individuals and families. Before joining, we knew little about the veteran population locally. However, through FTEH, we have learned a great deal about the vast needs facing veterans in Houston. Much to our surprise, we learned that Houston has the second largest returning-veteran population and that there is great need for private philanthropic support, coordination of services and collaboration among local agencies.

Global Green USA Collaborates with IKEA US and NYC Parks to Launch ‘Solar For Sandy’ Initiative, Increase Resiliency of New York Community
‘Solar for Sandy’ Install at Red Hook Recreation Center Brings Back-Up Solar Power to Brooklyn Community Devastated by Hurricane Sandy; Project Marks One-Year Anniversary of Superstorm
Global Green USA today announced that NYC Parks’ Red Hook Recreation Center in Brooklyn is the first official beneficiary of its ‘Solar For Sandy’ resiliency initiative. Designed to bring bring grid-tied, back-up solar energy systems to five or more community facilities that serve urban areas hit hardest by the superstorm, the ‘Solar for Sandy’ initiative was announced last June at the Clinton Global Initiative America. Global Green’s inaugural ‘Solar For Sandy’ installation will take place in collaboration with lead funder IKEA, the world’s largest home furnishings retailer, which has a store just a few blocks from the recreation center and with support from the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

Delaware SHA: NCSHA Recognizes State Rental Assistance Program with National Award
Delaware’s State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) received national attention last week when it was honored with an Award for Program Excellence during the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) 2013 Annual Conference & Showplace in New Orleans, LA. This year’s conference was attended by more than 900 affordable housing industry professionals.

New Hampshire HFA: $150,000 Grant Approved to Help Low-Income Families Purchase Homes
New Hampshire Housing’s Board of Directors recently approved a $150,000, three-year grant to support matched savings accounts for low-income families who want to purchase homes or make significant home repairs. The Individual Development Account (IDA) program, which is operated by the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, provides a $3 to $1 match for savings accounts of up to $2,000 for homeownership, education, transportation and home repair. New Hampshire Housing’s support targets homeownership and home repair, and it supplements additional funding from other sources for the program.

New Hampshire HFA: Low Income Housing Tax Credit Brings Housing, Jobs to New Hampshire
New Hampshire Housing’s Board of Directors recently approved the 2014 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding for affordable housing developments across the state. In total, five communities will add more than 240 units of affordable rental housing to their existing housing stock.

NCSHA in National News

GSA Issues Recommendation for Green Building Certification Systems
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that it has issued its recommendation on the federal government’s use of third party green building certification systems. GSA is required by law to issue a recommendation to the Department of Energy (DOE) on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government’s construction and major renovation projects.

Five Questions with Dr. Michael Stegman
Earlier this week, Michael Stegman, the Counselor to the Secretary for Housing Finance Policy participated in a panel discussion hosted by POLITICO Pro about the ongoing efforts to reform the housing finance system. As part of the next installment of “Five Questions,” we asked Dr. Stegman where the housing market stands today and how the housing finance sector should be reformed:
1. Where does the housing recovery stand today?
2. What is the status of housing finance reform legislation?
3. What will housing reform mean to the average American family?
4. What are the critical elements you would like to see as we transition to the new housing finance system?
5. You and the regulators recently announced new mortgage underwriting rules. At what point do you think certainty returns to the market?

Michael Stegman in National News

Will We Face A Mortgage Shortage In 2014?
People assume that mortgages will always be available but what if that’s wrong? Could there be a mortgage shortage in the near future, a time when financing shelves are bare?
Consider a new study by ComplianceEase which shows that next year “one in five mortgages would not qualify for safe harbor under Dodd-Frank.” Sounds pretty grim until you realize that many of the loans which would not pass muster only fail because lenders are now charging higher fees than the new rules allow.

Ending Veteran Homelessness in Connecticut
Ending homelessness has long been the lofty but elusive goal of advocates and service providers. Among veterans in Connecticut, however, we have a real shot at making this goal a reality — and soon. The Reaching Home Veterans Workgroup Strategic Plan, officially launched today, lays out the steps we’ll need to get there. Veteran homelessness has been intractable for decades, as hundreds of thousands of veterans came home from overseas to inadequate supports and insufficient treatment for health issues caused by their service. They weremarginalized, and came to represent a highly disproportionate share of the homeless, reaching nearly 100,000 at any given point in time.

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