Tag Archives: housing

Could a home on stilts above a parking lot offer a solution to the housing crisis?


Small, skinny prefabricated houses placed on stilts above car parks could offer a solution for the housing crisis.

Architect Bill Dunster reckons the two-level Zed Pods are a way to provide low-cost housing in crowded cities, while making ugly and wasteful parking areas attractive and more useful.

The pods are being built by Dunster’s company Zed Factory. Each unit is thin enough to just cover two parking spaces, one behind the other, although double pods that cover four parking spaces can also be constructed.

read more at: http://www.domain.com.au/news/could-a-home-on-stilts-above-a-car-park-offer-a-solution-to-the-housing-crisis-20160420-goaj23/

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Even Without Congress, Some Refi Help May Be Coming

Though it was pronounced dead before arrival by opponents on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama’s new mortgage refinancing package contained far more than legislative proposals.

In fact, significant portions of it that have received little media coverage require no prior approval from a hyperpartisan Congress and could begin affecting consumers within weeks. Here’s a quick rundown on key segments of the housing proposals with a handicapping of their likely impact this year:

Going nowhere: If you’ve got an underwater mortgage that isn’t owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the president’s marquee proposal to help you refinance into a 4 percent mortgage is not likely to be of assistance. The plan’s core concept of funding your rate cut by levying a fee on the largest banks — “based on their size and the riskiness of their activities” — would be a nonstarter politically even if this weren’t an election year. R.I.P.

Moving fast: Refinancings can be speeded up administratively by key executive branch agencies, and the new program directs them to do so within the next few weeks wherever possible. For example, the Federal Housing Administration will be removing a major barrier for lenders to “streamline” refinancings for current, non-delinquent borrowers who want to take advantage of today’s low rates. The FHA no longer will count streamlined refis — where some standard underwriting requirements are waived — against lenders’ performance ratings on delinquencies. The fear of getting a poor rating is a powerful deterrent for many lenders against doing streamlined refis, because they can lose their eligibility to do loans for the FHA altogether. Removing ratings as a barrier should help significant numbers of FHA borrowers get into a better deal.

At the same time, the White House has ordered all the other federal agencies with homebuyer programs to clear the decks for streamlined refis of their existing customers. For example, the Agriculture Department, which runs the third-largest and fastest-growing program — last fiscal year, its loan guarantees funded more than 130,000 home purchases in communities on the fringes of major metropolitan areas — is expected to waive requirements for new credit reports, appraisals and other documentation for streamlined refinancings. The main requirement for hundreds of thousands of existing USDA borrowers who want to switch to a lower loan rate: Just be on time with your current payments.

Read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/feb/12/tp-even-without-congress-some-refi-help-may-be/

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only