News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Lisa Prevost / June 27, 2013
Consumer demand for high-efficiency homes is rising. But the value of “green” isn’t always factored in by appraisers, and is typically ignored by mortgage lenders.
A bipartisan Senate bill supported by a broad coalition of business, real estate, energy and environmental groups seeks to put energy cost savings into the underwriting equation. Called the SAVE Act (for Sensible Accounting to Value Energy), the legislation could make energy-efficient features more affordable to average-income home buyers by allowing them to qualify for a larger loan amount.
The legislation wouldRead More
Daniel Overbey, AIA / ECOBUILDING Pulse / June 10, 2013
Does the federal government have the authority to mandate a national building code? This architect says no and explains why.
This summer, the U.S. Senate will continue to advance the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013. Introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–Ohio), this important piece of legislature will, among many other items, promote model building codes and standards while kick-starting private sector investment in commercial, industrial, and municipal building energy performance.Read More
Ylan Q. Mui / The Washington Post / June 26, 2013
The Federal Reserve is becoming concerned that the recent spike in interest rates could disrupt the rebound in the housing market and force the central bank to delay plans to scale back its multibillion-dollar economic stimulus.
The Fed believes the economy eventually will be strong enough to handle a pullback in stimulus, likely in the fourth quarter. But a prolonged rise in interest rates for mortgages and other loans would become a key factor in the central bank’s decision.
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week that the Fed is monitoring these rates but expressed hope that consumer confidenceRead More
Craig Webb / REMODELING / May 23, 2013
Legislation would reinstate opt-out provision, slashing the number of homes affected
Twenty-two members of the House of Representatives caught up with their Senate colleagues May 22 by introducing legislation to lighten the burdens imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule.
H.R. 2093 was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee, where the bill’s principal sponsor, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) heads the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. It’s identical to legislation introduced in the lastRead More
Emily Cadik, Peter Lawrence / AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE / May 16, 2013
The rallying cry for tax reform goes something like this: We need a simple, straightforward tax code—no more expensive tax software, no more tax accountants, no more hours of complicated calculations—and a code that helps to lower taxes on the average person and business.
But on the other side of this appealing vision is a threat to programs built into the tax code that have major impacts on people and the communities in which they live—and those programs could disappear overnight. The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) has enjoyed bipartisan support over its 26-year history, butRead More