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A look back, and ahead, at the eviction moratorium

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced US companies to close their doors, resulting in a nationwide unemployment rate of 15% in April 2020 – the highest since the Great Recession. A number of local state and federal regulations were enacted that affected the financial well-being of landlords and tenants, such as: B. Eviction moratoriums.

Initially, the eviction moratoriums differed from state to state. In September 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) introduced a nationwide eviction moratorium, replacing state regulations. A federal judge ruled that the CDC’s moratorium in May this year was unconstitutional. The decision is now being challenged by the Justice Department.

Commercial real estate finance and investment firm Greystone recently announced a timeline that has followed the path of the eviction moratorium since the pandemic began last March.

March 2020

Individual states, cities, and Washington, DC, imposed an eviction ban at the beginning of the pandemic, preventing landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment. In other jurisdictions, landlords may initiate eviction proceedings if renters’ rent was seriously overdue prior to February 29, 2020. Landlords could also evict tenants if they engage in illegal activities in their home. Tenants in all jurisdictions were expected to pay at least part of their rent if they could. Overdue rents, late fees, interest and penalties can accumulate with missed rental payments.

Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to Greystone, have put eviction moratoria in place for landlords who finance real estate through their loan programs. The bans ultimately also applied to owners of apartment buildings financed through one of these institutions. These bans were issued until June 30, 2021.

April 2020

Landlords and tenants alike had problems with the eviction bans. Landlords were dissatisfied because the moratorium extensions did not give them financial support for building maintenance, mortgage payments and running costs, while tenants did not pay their rent. Meanwhile, tenants’ lawyers were pleased with the eviction ban, but disliked the late fees and penalties for the missed payments. Their argument was that renters couldn’t pay their overdue bills, which would lead to mass evictions. Tenant advocacy groups and others started rent strikes and a rent cancellation movement to force long-term forgiveness of rent. In the meantime, the landlords worked with individual tenants to create affordable payment plans.

Summer 2020

The state and local eviction moratoriums expired. However, the moratoriums on FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and others have been extended. The economic stimulus payments and the extended unemployment benefits, which enabled tenants to pay full or partial rents, also expired.

September 2020

The CDC introduced a four-month national eviction moratorium to prevent potential homelessness and the spread of COVID-19 if tenants were forced to move into an overcrowded shelter. The CDC’s moratorium took precedence over any other eviction ban. Exceptions have been made to allow tenants to be evicted for criminal activity or conduct that endangers the health and safety of other tenants or damages property.

The CDC’s ban also required renters to provide their landlord with a form stating that they were trying to get government assistance to pay their rent. Tenants also had to prove that they expected an annual income of no more than USD 99,000 (single) or USD 198,000 (joint tax return) in 2020 and were unable to pay rent due to a pandemic-related emergency.

December 2020

Congress approved $ 25 billion for emergency rental assistance. Another $ 21.5 billion was approved in March. While state and local rental assistance programs were also implemented, housing advocates said the grant disbursement has been slow, Greystone reports.

March 2021

All federal eviction moratoriums have been extended to June 30, 2021.

May 2021

US District Judge Dabney Friedrich rejected the CDC’s eviction moratorium, stating that it had exceeded the organisation’s mandate to regulate “sources of dangerous human infections”. Judge Friedrich’s decision was suspended while the Justice Department appealed. If the decision is confirmed, landlords may be able to evict their non-paying tenants. However, landlords would still have to adhere to state or local eviction bans that may still exist.

The state housing court judges are likely to consider several factors such as: For example, local regulations, tenants’ payment history before and during the pandemic, and landlord’s records that their buildings are in good condition and that they have attempted to establish payment plans with their tenants.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced new rules to expedite the delivery of emergency aid to tenants.

Joe Dyton can be reached at joed@fifthgenmedia.com.

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Housing crisis becomes an emergency as Salt Lake County home prices spike 31% in a year

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Average price climbed to $ 535,000 in May, $ 128,000 more than twelve months ago as severe supply shortages and declining sales take their toll on would-be buyers in Utah.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A home for sale in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Despite Utah housing demand at historic highs, home sales along the Wasatch Front declined earlier this year due to a lack of supply. Single-family home prices, meanwhile, continue to rise as wafer-thin deals dampen sales and buyers seek cheaper alternatives like condos and townhouses.

As the latest sign of the Utah real estate crisis, Wasatch Front real estate agents lamented the catastrophic shortage of homes in the market on Thursday as prices soar to shocking new records and sales continue to decline.

The average price of a single-family home in Salt Lake County surged the noticeable $ 500,000 mark sometime in March, then hit $ 535,000 last month, new data shows – a staggering $ 128,000 year-over-year increase of 31%.

This major damper on the price spiral pushed the volume of home sales in the five-county region in May well below the level of the same month last year, when home shopping was temporarily wiped out by COVID-19.

With the average new home supply now spanning 30 to 40 and selling in five days, real estate agents in Utah’s main metropolitan area issued a rare emergency statement saying the region was “severely undeveloped” and facing severe declines through decades of underinvestment be in terms of affordability.

“It will take more construction of all types of homes so more people can realize the American dream of their own home,” said Matt Ulrich, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, which covers Salt Lake, Utah, Weber, Davis and Tooele counties.

“It’s just too tough out there,” said Ulrich in an interview. “There is simply not enough stock because the demand is so great.”

That cry for help sparked a new report released on Wednesday that estimates the country’s housing deficit at around 5.5 million units. The industry study calls for residential construction in the US to increase by 2 million homes annually over the next decade, compared to 1.3 million units built last year.

America’s housing stock has been largely neglected for nearly two decades, the National Association of Realtors report said, with a severe shortage of new buildings leading to an acute shortage, an “increasingly worsening” affordability crisis and an inventory of existing homes it is getting old and in need of repair.

Calling the magnitude of the construction delay and the resulting gap between demand and supply “enormous”, the report said the crisis will require “a major national commitment to building more homes of all kinds”.

In Utah, the housing gap is estimated at 45,000 to 50,000 single-family homes, apartments, and other forms of housing, with a particularly acute need for more affordable housing for residents with average wages.

Home builders in Utah have record numbers of units under construction but say they are not catching up given the heavily pent-up demand, lack of supply and rising prices for land, building materials and builders.

According to economists, rising prices along the Wasatch front have temporarily slowed sales since 2019, but the pandemic-induced demand for houses with more rooms and larger backyards has pushed the supply of apartments to new lows.

The resulting drop in sales worsened in May, with double-digit price gains making it more of a creep and increasing stress on the part of buyers.

Home sales in May fell to 2,396, a 7% decrease from the same month last year, which was itself a historically bleak sales month, down 19% from 2019 due to pandemic lockdowns. The average single-family home price in five counties is now $ 485,000, up $ 109,640 from the same point last year.

While these declining sales are apparently a bread-and-butter problem for the area’s 10,000 or so real estate agents working on commission, a spokesman for the Salt Lake Board of Realtors said its members are speaking on behalf of budding homebuyers.

“We are heading for California prices if we stay on this path,” warned spokesman Dave Anderton. “And that is a really difficult situation, especially for first-time buyers.”

The National Association of Realtors report blamed the crisis on “persistent underinvestment” in all major regions of the country as a result of economic conditions following the 2009 Great Recession. This downturn resulted in severe job losses in the construction sector and tightened lending standards for builders and buyers, both severe setbacks to housing construction that persisted for years.

While the report describes this as a crisis of national proportions, Ulrich noted that Utah, Nevada, and Idaho – some of the fastest growing states in the country since 2010 – had also seen the worst declines in affordability.

The Cottonwood Heights-based broker and home builder reiterated the demands of the broader Utah real estate sector, urging cities to remove “onerous” building requirements and streamline building permits to reduce construction costs. Ulrich also called for increased incentives to attract more workers to builders – such as frame builders, electricians, plumbers and roofers – who are now scarce.

The national report also pointed to potential benefits of increased housing construction for the U.S. economy, including relief for costly tenants and nearly $ 400 billion in additional economic activity.

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Loyalsock taxpayers to see real estate tax increase for school district | News, Sports, Jobs

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For the first time in three years, residents of Loyalsock Township School District will pay more property taxes next year after the school board recently increased the rate by $ 0.43 million.

This means that for every $ 100,000 of the estimated value of a property, an additional $ 43 is added to the tax bill. According to M. Dan Egly, general manager and board secretary, the new tariff will generate $ 300,000 in additional revenue for the district that would have run a $ 640,000 deficit without the additional millage. The remaining deficit will be covered by fund balances to present a balanced budget for 2021-22 with revenues and expenditures of $ 25,084,743.

“We didn’t leave a stone unturned. We are looking for all possibilities to avoid the effects of these budgets on taxpayers. said Egge.

He said the district had renegotiated contracts, installed solar panels on buildings, and recently approved the construction of a cell phone boom on district property in an attempt to find ways to reduce costs.

“The district is looking for ways to avoid tax increases in the future, but unfortunately we have to make these decisions at some point.” said Egge.

The other tax rates remain the same for the next year.

The Loyalsock Township Recreation Board budget of $ 23,994 for programs available to children in the district for the period 2021-22 was awarded to the OK.

The board also approved that

Resolution to Foreclose Homestead / Farmstead, which will allow primary residents of qualifying properties to obtain a $ 130.75 reduction in their property taxes. There are 3,020 homesteads and nine homesteads in the district that are eligible for exclusion.

In Human Resources, the Board approved the following positions at the stated salary rates: Marc Walter, Assistant Principal, $ 86,000 for the 2021-22 school year; Maria Debrody, Temporary Specialist, Elementary School Teacher, effective October 18, prorated salary of $ 49,059; Laura Kriger, part-time high school secretary, $ 13 an hour; Connie Clapper, part-time hospitality worker, $ 10 an hour; and Erika Maurer, voluntary rail trainer.

The following resignations were noted: Julia Muse, data coordinator; Eric Gerber, social studies teacher; Brandon Schrimp, school policeman; and Kimberly Bigelow, hospitality worker.

The board agreed to accept a $ 4,700 offer made by James McDermott for a 2004 bus with 72 passengers. The bus had previously been sold but the sale was not completed so the bus was offered again.

The purchase of a Cub Cadet mower from Lawn & Golf Supply Co., Inc. for $ 18,824 has been approved.

With the district’s summer programs beginning and CDC policy changes, Superintendent Gerald McLaughlin asked the board if they had any objection to making mask wear optional during the summer months. The board agreed, but stressed that it is up to everyone whether they want to wear masks or not.

Prior to the business portion of the meeting, Denise Holmes was announced as the winner of the Lauretta Woodson Support Staff Award, and Alicia Carner, a special education teacher at the high school, received an Instructor Award Acknowledgment from the group.

The next board meeting will be on July 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the boardroom at 1605 Four Mile Drive.

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Former SEC chief accountant joins real estate investment platform as CFO

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Diving letter:

  • Fundrise, a direct-to-investor real estate investment platform, has been selected as new CFO Alison Staloch, former chief accountant for the investment management division of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Fundrise, headquartered in Washington, DC, manages $ 1.5 billion in equity for more than 150,000 investors. The company has invested more than $ 5.7 billion in real estate since its inception in 2012.

  • Former Fundrise CFO Michael McCord was Fired for attempted blackmail In 2016, he denied a charge.

Dive Insight:

Staloch’s attitude follows news from earlier this month that Fundrise is a Goldman Sachs’ $ 300 million loan facility to finance the construction of new single-family houses in the Sun Belt region.

At the SEC, Staloch developed policy recommendations for regulating investment companies and advisors with regard to their disclosure and financial reporting requirements. Before that, she worked in the auditing practice at KPMG for a decade.

“Having spent my entire career in investor protection roles in our capital markets, I am inspired by Fundrise’s investor-centric mission to use technology to build a better financial system for retail investors,” Staloch said in a statement. “I am excited to work with the Fundrise team to further amplify the impact of its uniquely powerful technology to streamline conventional capital raising and capital financing on behalf of its customers.”

“Alison’s background in advocating at the highest level for the individual investor was a perfect fit for our mission at Fundrise,” said Co-Founder and CEO Ben Miller.

Alison Staloch

Courtesy Fundrise

Staloch was drawn to Fundrise to “do something more entrepreneurial,” she told CFO Dive. “I’ve spent my entire career in gatekeeping and regulation, so it was tempting to be part of building something.”

Staloch, who took up her position in late April, is the company’s first full-time CFO and characterizes her workload as typical of a late-stage company. She focuses on accounting and reporting, alongside more strategic work such as improving earnings models and managing diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

“The most important thing I’m focusing on right now is structuring the finance function to leverage the technology to automate controls and processes so the company can focus more strategically,” she said.

Fundrise is very complex and heavily regulated, but “incredibly innovative in terms of compliance”.

“That impressed me as a former regulator,” she said, adding that she supported the company’s mission to democratize access to alternative assets for retail investors.

In competition with Public Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and with regard to access to a broad investor base, the company offers its products and services directly. “There really is no middleman,” she said.

Fundrise’s assets are managed externally; To achieve efficiency gains in operating costs, the company is focusing on building its technical efficiency to better scale.

“Our technology enables us to raise investor money through an online platform that enables incredible investments,” she said. “Our operations are all done in-house, and our technology gives us real-time data and insights to help us execute an investment strategy more effectively.”

While rising interest rates could affect the value of real estate, it doesn’t determine how Staloch approaches the strategy, she said. “We’re looking for assets that we believe can create value and that we also see an opportunity to transform a current approach to create even more value for our investors,” she said.

Amid the well-documented uncertainty over commercial real estate following the pandemic, Fundrise is not changing its plans.

“We are currently investing primarily in rental properties for multi-family and single-family houses: asset classes that are not confronted with the same uncertainty as commercial real estate,” said Staloch. “One of the benefits of investing is that our real estate assets are diversified; We are not restricted by any asset class or geography. Single family home rental is something of a new industry that we are targeting and we are constantly reviewing which asset classes have value and opportunities for disruption. “

Since McCord’s layoff in 2016, Fundrise has been a Regulation A applicant and filing regulation letters for all funds and measures, Staloch said, which is “truly unique for a company at our stage”. Her own due diligence process has shown her the company has strong controls and, as a former regulator, Fundrise has been impressed by its adherence to strict regulations.

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