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housing

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County moves housing project forward

By Tris DeRoma

Los Alamos County Council OK’d a key step Tuesday in getting a housing project started in White Rock, but not all councilors were entirely happy about it.

Some questioned the developer’s planned price range of $300,000 to $400,000, and why, since the county was contributing $2 million to the developer to help in removing a troublesome layer of basalt at the site, council didn’t have any say in the project’s aesthetics. The developer paid the county $460,000 for the land.  

“This is not even close to a moderately priced housing development and I want people to recognize that fact right now so we don’t have to address it a year from now when people actually see what’s being done in that area,” Councilor Chris Chandler said before casting the lone dissenting 5-1 vote on the project.

Councilor James Chrobocinski was out of town.

Chandler also asked why council didn’t have more of a say in planning the project, something at least one other county councilor, Antonio Maggiore agreed with.

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Affordable housing rehab effort gets a boost

As affordable housing in Los Alamos remains in relatively short supply, one apartment complex is getting a boost for a rehab project through a grant program.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Los Alamos National Bank announced they have awarded a $252,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to YES Housing, Inc. to assist with the rehabilitation of a dated apartment community.

The grant funds are part of a $6.2 million project that aim to revitalize the property into a new affordable housing community in Los Alamos.

Mesa Del Norte was originally developed in 1996 as a 36-unit apartment community available only to families with incomes less than 60 percent of the area’s median income level. It consists of four, two-story 8- and 12-plex buildings with one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.

As of March 2012, Mesa Del Norte had an occupancy level of 92 percent, and YES Housing, Inc. believes the upcoming renovations will help the property remain competitive in the affordable housing market.

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13,000 Is Next Dow Milestone, Record in Sight

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is within reach of the rarefied 13,000 mark, a level it hasn't seen since May 2008, four months before the financial system almost came apart. There's evidence that the rally has room to run.

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Documents Show How Fed Missed Housing Bust

Ben Bernanke presided over his first meeting as Federal Reserve chairman in March 2006 believing the nation's economy could pull off a "soft landing" from falling home prices.

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Home prices falling in most major US cities

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and at least 10 major markets are at their lowest point since the housing bubble burst.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index shows price declines in 19 cities from January to February. The index fell for the seventh straight month. Prices fell at a faster rate in 11 markets in February compared with the previous month.

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White House hands Congress housing finance dilemma

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is laying out three broad options for overhauling the mortgage lending system, but will let Congress make the final decision.

The Treasury Department says in a report released Friday that the government should withdraw its support for the mortgage market slowly, over five years or more. The report describes a path for winding down the troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Banks repossess 1 million homes in 2010, peak numbers yet to come

NEW YORK (AP) — The bleakest year in foreclosure crisis has only just begun.

Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and more will miss payments as they struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home's value, industry analysts forecast.

"2011 is going to be the peak," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc.

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Long-term implications of foreclosure freeze are 'grave'

NEW YORK (AP) — Karl Case, the co-creator of a widely watched housing market index, was upbeat three weeks ago. Mulling the economy while at a meeting at a resort near the Berkshires, Case thought the makings of a recovery were finally falling into place.

"I'm a 60-40 optimist," he said at the time.

Quality of life in Los Alamos

If you could pick just one thing to improve your quality of experience living and/or working in Los Alamos, what would it be?

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