US plan aims to end racial, ethnic in home appraisals

Vice President Kamala Harris announced a plan Wednesday intended to end racial and ethnic discrimination in the appraisal of home values, part of a broader federal effort to address a wealth gap that systemic inequality has perpetuated.

The plan contains 21 steps to improve oversight and accountability, including a legislative proposal to modernize the governance structure of the appraisal industry. Appraisers help to determine the value of a home so that buyers can receive a mortgage.

Multiple reports, including a September analysis by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, show that appraisers are more likely to undervalue homes in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. This form of discrimination widens the racial wealth gap and makes it harder for many Americans from disadvantaged backgrounds to move up the economic ladder.

read more at: https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-us-biden-home-appraisals-20220323-yejoqrifljamnocdtfayxvhn2m-story.html

California rooftop solar decision remains on hold

The next voting meeting for the commission is set for Thursday but once again, the agenda does not include an item regarding the fate of a controversial Net Energy Metering proposal that — if passed in its current form — would make major changes to the way solar customers are compensated.

Under Net Energy Metering, or NEM, when a rooftop solar system generates more energy than the homeowner or business actually consumes, the excess can be sent back to the electric grid and customers receive credits on their bills.

Net Energy Metering tariff that included:

  • Altering how much solar customers are paid when they send power back to the grid. Instead of receiving the retail rate of electricity, they would get paid at the “actual avoided cost,” which is much lower.
  • Creating a “grid participation charge” of $8 per kilowatt on the solar systems of residential customers. The typical rooftop system is about 5 to 6 kilowatts so the charge would come to about $40 to $48 per month for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. The charge would not apply to commercial customers.
  • Establishing a $600 million Equity Fund to support clean energy and energy storage programs for low-income Californians. Disadvantaged households would be exempt from paying the grid participation charge.
  • Provide a 10-year payback period for customers who add energy storage to their solar systems.

Read more at: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/story/2022-03-15/rooftop-solar-decision-remains-on-hold

Assembly bill would tax house flippers

AB 1771 aims to reduce housing speculation by investors, free up properties for individual home buyers

House flippers could be taxed 25 percent of their profit under the California Speculation Act, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Chris Ward, D-San Diego.

Assembly Bill 1771 aims to discourage real estate speculation that Ward said drives up home prices as equity investors outbid individual home buyers.

read more at: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/story/2022-03-09/housing-speculation-bill