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BUSINESS
March 21, 2010 | By Kenneth R. Harney
Does it matter whether a real estate agent charges you a flat commission rate -- say 6% -- or quotes you a flat rate but adds hundreds of dollars on top of that as a separate charge labeled an "admin" or administrative fee? A top federal housing official says it might matter a lot, especially when minimal or no separate services are performed to justify extra charges beyond the regular commission. Helen R. Kanovsky, general counsel at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, clarified the government's position on controversial add-on fees in a recent letter to industry lawyers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Martha Groves
From the balcony of her Crescent Drive apartment, Shari Able takes in the luxurious view - a picture-postcard panorama of the homes of Beverly Hills. Her home sits above a Whole Foods stocked with organic kabocha squash and Dungeness crabs. Rodeo Drive's boutiques are a brisk walk away. But the 74-year-old is quick to warn elderly suitors who think her 90210 ZIP Code means a cushy bank account. Her federally subsidized apartment costs her roughly $200 a month, she said. "I told one guy from Long Beach, 'I live in Beverly Hills, but it's the only HUD building in Beverly Hills,'" Able recalled one morning over coffee and madeleines.
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BUSINESS
September 23, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
Joy and Andrew Giordano thought they could save their Baltimore home from foreclosure without any help. But in the end, they couldn't. To avoid foreclosure, the Giordanos applied twice to their lender for refinancing under the government's Making Home Affordable program. Twice they were turned down. "We were not getting the right information from our bank," said Joy Giordano, who had to close her advertising specialties business because of the economic downturn. "We did everything we were told to do. But each time, we were not approved because of this or not approved because of that.
NEWS
June 14, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
The reassuring story of desegregation in America has gotten a lot of play these last few years. Black migration to suburbs and an influx of immigrants, we're told, have relegated all-white neighborhoods to the ash heap of history. It's “THE END OF THE SEGREGATED CENTURY,” one recent study breathlessly reported. The real story is more complicated. All-white neighborhoods may have gone extinct, but all-black neighborhoods have not. In Los Angeles, some low-diversity, predominantly white neighborhoods became more diverse between 1990 and 2000, but every one of them remained predominantly white . Increased racial diversity, in other words, does not equal desegregation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 1989
We are waiting patiently for former President Reagan to cite the cases of the millionaires driving up to the doors of HUD in their Rolls-Royces to collect their checks. Seems only fair. R.M. ROTH Glendale
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 1989
I can understand the difficulties your reporters must have encountered in investigating the complexities involved in dealing with HUD transactions. However, it seems to me that the recent articles on General William Lyon are replete with unjustified and unfair conclusions, innuendoes and an overall bias against General Lyon and his companies. After carefully reading the articles, I can find no compelling evidence that the William Lyon Co. was given a special deal by HUD at all. The very fact that HUD gave a previous developer a $35-million loan guarantee (which was never paid by the developer, resulting in HUD having to foreclose)
REAL ESTATE
October 3, 1999
Regarding the Sept. 26 article "HUD Program Will Help Teachers Buy Homes" by Lew Sichelman, I think HUD should make these deals available for anyone, so that all citizens can help revitalize neighborhoods, not just police and teachers. I realize that HUD wants persons who can make payments and keep up the property and that police and teachers groups are assured of income and the ability to repay. Yet why, with $100 down, couldn't even the lowest income persons be able to afford a home in a revitalization area?
NEWS
June 21, 1989 | WILLIAM J. EATON, Times Staff Writer
A Republican political consultant acknowledged Tuesday that he used his influence to obtain a $43-million Department of Housing and Urban Development rehabilitation and rent-subsidy grant for a developer client, but he insisted that he acted "within the system." The testimony by Paul Manafort at a sometimes stormy hearing of a House Government Operations subcommittee came after local officials from New Jersey who were affected by the HUD decision complained that they were never consulted in advance about the grant and did not want it. Manafort's high-powered lobbying and public relations firm received a $326,000 fee for its work in getting HUD approval of the grant largely through personal influence with Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr., he said.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
Across-the-board cuts in the federal budget will force the Department of Housing and Urban Development to close its offices on May 24 and possibly six other days. HUD, which provides assistance programs for low-income and homeless people, said Friday that it had tentatively scheduled additional furloughs of employees for June 14, July 5, July 22, Aug. 2, Aug. 16 and Aug. 30. The agency has been reducing expenses in response to the so-called sequester, Congress' mandate for budget cuts at a host of agencies including Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.
BUSINESS
December 7, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A top Obama administration official said a key government agency that has helped stabilize the housing market might be able to stay afloat next year, but he couldn't guarantee it wouldn't need a taxpayer bailout. He warned lawmakers, however, not to make the situation worse by messing too much with how it does business. In a Senate hearing Thursday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan cautioned lawmakers worried about the increasingly precarious finances of the Federal Housing Administration that making hasty changes to its operations could endanger the strengthening housing turnaround.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- A top Obama administration official said Thursday that he could not guarantee that efforts to shore up a key government housing agency won't save it from needing a taxpayer bailout next year. But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan cautioned senators worried about the increasingly precarious finances of the Federal Housing Administration that making hasty changes to its operations could endanger the housing recovery. Sharp revisions to FHA's standards for insuring mortgages -- often for first-time, lower income home buyers -- could dampen the recovery and lead to more foreclosures that further reduce the size of the fund the agency uses to cover its losses.  "We are seeing a recovery, but it is still fragile," Donovan told the Senate Banking Committee.
NATIONAL
November 15, 2012 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
Housing and Urban Development Director Shaun Donovan has been chosen to lead the federal government's assistance to states rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, President Obama announced Thursday after touring parts of New York. "We thought it'd be good to have a New Yorker who's going to be the point person," Obama said from Staten Island, where he concluded a tour with Donovan and state lawmakers that included a flyover of Far Rockaway and Breezy Point in Queens, where more than 100 homes burned as floodwaters kept firefighters at bay. Speaking in front of a few destroyed homes in Staten Island, where thousands of homes and businesses still have no power, Obama added, "We are going to be here until the rebuilding is complete.
NATIONAL
November 15, 2012 | By Joseph Serna
In his second tour to the devastated Northeast following Hurricane Sandy, President Obama pledged Thursday he would see the recovery effort through and announced the appointment of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to coordinate federal resources to the states affected. "We thought it'd be good to have a New Yorker be the point person," Obama said in Staten Island, standing in front of a bulldozer and a boarded-up house cordoned off by yellow caution tape. "I have every confidence that Shaun's going to be doing a great job. " Before Donovan moved to HUD in 2009, the New York native served as commissioner of New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development and implemented the city's plan to build and preserve 165,000 affordable homes -- the largest such effort in U.S. history.
BUSINESS
September 23, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
Joy and Andrew Giordano thought they could save their Baltimore home from foreclosure without any help. But in the end, they couldn't. To avoid foreclosure, the Giordanos applied twice to their lender for refinancing under the government's Making Home Affordable program. Twice they were turned down. "We were not getting the right information from our bank," said Joy Giordano, who had to close her advertising specialties business because of the economic downturn. "We did everything we were told to do. But each time, we were not approved because of this or not approved because of that.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2012 | By Jessica Garrison and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Naming a new leader to Los Angeles' troubled housing authority three months ago was supposed to help calm a scandal over excessive perks and outsized pay at an agency charged with sheltering the city's poorest residents. But this week, Los Angeles officials faced fresh questions over a pay package for the new agency chief that is more than $100,000 a year above a new limit set by the federal government. Washington regulators this week announced a plan to permanently cap federal funding for housing authority executive salaries at $155,000 a year, acknowledging that some compensation packages had become "clearly excessive.
NATIONAL
June 6, 2012 | By Jamie Goldberg, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Department of Housing and Urban Development is instituting a permanent salary cap of $155,000 for top officials at public housing authorities, following reports of oversized compensation packages that included roughly $600,000 for the top official at the Atlanta Housing Authority. Atlanta Housing Authority President and Chief Executive Renee Glover and top executives at housing authorities in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chelsea, Mass., received excessive salaries in 2010, according to data from a national compensation survey conducted by HUD. It said Glover received $644,241.
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