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Category Archives: Housing

2013 Characteristics of New Housing

“Using data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, which is jointly funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, this report provides annual statistics on the characteristics of new privately owned residential structures in the four U.S. regions. The report includes characteristics such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type ofContinue Reading

Why Closing the Racial Wealth Gap is a Priority for National Economic Security

Center for Global Policy Solutions: “Despite overwhelming evidence that the racial wealth gap persists in the U.S., it remains a taboo topic in mainstream policy circles and most officials studiously avoid offering targeted solutions to help close this gap. However, this issue is ignored at our nation’s peril given the anticipated growth of racial andContinue Reading

The FRB/US Model: A Tool for Macroeconomic Policy Analysis

The FRB/US Model: A Tool for Macroeconomic Policy Analysis, Flint Brayton, Thomas Laubach, and David Reifschneider “The FRB/US model of the U.S. economy is one of several that Federal Reserve Board staff consults for forecasting and the analysis of macroeconomic issues, including both monetary and fiscal policy. To improve public access to and understanding of the model,Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Acquisitions, Defense Contracting, Uranium Contamination

DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS: Military Services Consistently Held Required Configuration Steering Boards That Actively Reviewed Requirements Changes, GAO-14-466R: Published: May 5, 2014. Publicly Released: May 5, 2014. DEFENSE CONTRACTING: Early Attention in the Acquisition Process Needed to Enhance Competition, GAO-14-395: Published: May 5, 2014. Publicly Released: May 5, 2014. URANIUM CONTAMINATION: Overall Scope, Time Frame, and Cost Information Is Needed for Contamination Cleanup onContinue Reading

CFPB – Mortgage closings today

A preliminary look at the role of technology in improving the closing process for consumers, April 2014 “The mortgage closing process is complex and often onerous for all involved. For most consumers, closing a mortgage signifies the most substantial financial transaction they will complete in their lifetimes. However, the process can be time-consuming and confusing. Consumers face a dauntingContinue Reading

Existing-Home Sales Remain Soft in March

News release: “Existing-home sales were essentially flat in March, while the growth in home prices moderated, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were offset by declines in the West and South. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to aContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – 2020 Census, Defense Infrastructure, International Financial Reforms

2020 CENSUS: Prioritized Information Technology Research and Testing Is Needed for Census Design Decisions, GAO-14-389: Published: Apr 3, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 2014: “The Census Bureau (Bureau) has made progress in researching and testing information technology (IT) options for the 2020 Decennial Census, but several of the supporting projects lack schedules and plans, and it is uncertainContinue Reading

Taken by Storm: Business Survival in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Basker, Emek and Miranda, Javier, Taken by Storm: Business Survival in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (March 30, 2014). Available at SSRN: “We use Hurricane Katrina’s damage to the Mississippi coast in 2005 as a natural experiment to study business survival in the aftermath of a cost shock. We find that damaged establishments thatContinue Reading

Quality of life in Europe: Families in the economic crisis

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. “The economic crisis has reshaped the lives of millions of European citizens. But how has it affected families with children? Children are moreContinue Reading

Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization

The joint report by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive and Sustainable Urbanization, includes six priority areas for a new model of urbanization: Reforming land management and institutions Reforming the hukou household-registration system to provide equal access to quality services for all citizens and create a more mobileContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Major Defense Acquisition Programs, DoD corrosion of facilities and infrastructure, DOD MAIS Programs, Native American Housing

CANCELED DOD PROGRAMS: DOD Needs to Better Use Available Guidance and Manage Reusable Assets, GAO-14-77: Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2014. DEFENSE INFRASTRUCTURE: DOD’s 2013 Facilities Corrosion Study Addressed Reporting Elements, GAO-14-337R: Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2014. MAJOR AUTOMATED INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Selected Defense Programs Need to Implement Key Acquisition Practices, GAO-14-309: Published: Mar 27, 2014. PubliclyContinue Reading

FHFA Oversight of Enterprise Controls Over Pre-Foreclosure Property Inspections

Audit Report, AUD-2014-012, March 25, 2014: “The pre-foreclosure property inspection process needs improvement to ensure that  pre-foreclosure inspection objectives are achieved in the most effective manner. There is limited assurance that the Enterprises have effective controls in place to ensure the quality of inspections conducted and that inspectors issue reports consistent with contractual requirements. Overall, several servicers reviewedContinue Reading