usain bolt real estate investor

World Faster Runner Usain Bolt Becomes Real Estate Investor, Promises Jamaica More Development

        The world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres, 4 × 100 metres relay  race and 3 times Olympic Usain Bolt is now a real estate investor!. The sports celebrity confirmed his association with a Half-Way Tree project on Instagram, saying it was one of several to come, but gave no more details.

Dressed in construction gear, Usain Bolt posted a picture of himself standing in front of the construction site.

“You heard it here first. First of many!! #NoLimits,” he cationed the photo.

It’s rumoured that the development, which is being managed by Gary Matalon’s and Richard Levee’s company, Neustone Limited, will be leased to business process outsourcing clients on completion, but that, too, is to be confirmed.

usain bolt real estate investor

While Usain Bolt appears to be confirming that he is an investor in the property, it’s still unclear whether he is a majority or minority owner and what stake, if any, his development partners hold.

Usain Bolt and Gary Matalon are long-time business partners through KLE Group Limited, the listed company that oversees a casual-dining outfit to which Bolt has licensed his name Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, or UBTR, which currently has outlets in Jamaica and recently London.

The retired track star’s executive manager, Nugent Walker, declined to comment on the real estate project.

“Thanks for the interest in Usain,” he said on Thursday.

“Sorry. At this time, Usain is not officially commenting on this project. However, when he is, I will be sure to share with you all the information.”

Usain Bolt’s net worth is unknown, but the world’s fastest man is reported to be among the highest earning athletes of all time.

Family Homes Funds to Deliver 4,700 Homes in Borno for IDPs, Civil Servants

Family Homes Funds, a Federal Government housing initiative intended to support the development of up to 500,000 Homes targeted at people on low income over the next 5 years has stated that the fund will soon begin a 4,700 housing project in North-eastern state of Borno.

This was revealed by the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds (FHF), Mr. Femi Adewole while speaking exclusively with Housing News.

He said, ‘’In Borno state, we are just about to sign an agreement with the state. We have been there for a housing programme which is in two parts. There is 1700 homes that is targeted at civil servants, mostly middle and low income civil servants.

‘’A lot of those homes will be in Maiduguri and some of the principal cities. The state is providing the land and the bulk infrastructure to the site. That is already far advanced because all of the sites have been identified, surveyed and the drawings and bills have been prepared.’’

According to him, the Fund will get the board approval for the project sometime early in June 2019 and commence work before the end of same June.

The project which he said is a direct partnership with the state will include a second aspect focused on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

‘’That will be 3000 units. They are small houses built in the outline areas, not necessarily in Maiduguri, but those villages that had been ravaged by the insurgents.

‘’But it is not new. The state has already produced quite a number but what most people are not aware of is the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who have been displaced by Boko Haram who are still living in temporary refugee camps for 3 to 5 years. So the government has a programme of returning them back to their villages which have been liberated. The idea is that we will be joining the government efforts to finance those homes,’’ he added.

Cost of housing now a major consideration when job hunting, new research finds

The cost of housing is now one of the main considerations when people decide whether or not to accept a job, with many being forced to live further and further away from their place of work.

Some 85% of respondents to a new housing and business survey by Strutt & Parker cited the cost of housing as important in their decision, impacting job mobility and satisfaction.

Almost half of employed people, some 44%, have either not applied for a job, or not accepted one, because of high rent or house prices, while 41% have left one or more jobs because of local housing costs.

It also found that the average commute takes 34 minutes, but for one in 10 it is over an hour each way and many are choosing a longer commute in order to find more affordable housing.

According to Strutt & Parker’s report, as informal working conditions are increasing from the gig economy to freelance consultants, people are thinking about our homes in a new way and there has been a shift in the way people look at commuting.

‘No longer limited to the golden hour commute time, people are prepared to travel much longer distances if it means better schools, cheaper house prices and an overall better family lifestyle,’ said Strutt & Parker sales agent Edward Church.

‘This is mostly seen by those who can work flexible hours. Better technology and infrastructure is allowing some large city firms to encourage employees to work from home a few days a week. This can be advantageous for firms too, freeing up costly office space,’ he added.

But the research also found that almost half of people said that they found the journey to and from work means they are often tired, and 40% believe that it makes them less productive.

‘With no quick fix for house prices, its clear employers need to adapt to accommodate workers who commute. Flexible working may be the solution to increase employee happiness and keep good people in firms for longer,’ Church pointed out.

‘Demand for home offices has grown exponentially in recent years, in line with flexible working procedures, technology improvements and broadband as the fourth utility. So much so that the buyer who does not require some form of home working space is the exception, rather than the norm,’ he explained.

He also pointed out that a ‘three day week’ commute is common now for those seeking better value houses beyond the traditional commuter belt, such as in Bath, Norfolk and Thanet.

He believes that if agents market homes as having good broadband and label rooms as a potential study or library where possible it will make the property more attractive.

‘If you leave London on Thursday, you’ll find that the trains and roads are busier than on Friday evenings as people head out of town early and work a day at home. It’s just one sign of a more radical shift as employers and employees navigate the new relationship between housing and work,’ said Strutt & Parker’s research director Vanessa Hale.

‘A few companies are even helping to pay for staff accommodation so employees can live closer to their jobs, similar to how they now subsidise season tickets for commuters,’ she added.

Source: Property Wire

Microsoft Treads Cautiously as it Plans to Deploy $500M Affordable Housing fund in Seattle Region

Microsoft made a big splash in January with the surprise announcement of a $500 million commitment to increase the supply of affordable housing in its hometown, the largest philanthropic gift in the company’s history.

 

The plan is to donate $25 million in grants to address the Seattle region’s homelessness crisis and invest the remaining $475 million in low- and middle-income housing.

 

But figuring out how exactly to spend those dollars has been a challenge for Microsoft over the past five months. That’s according to Amy Liu, a senior officer for Microsoft Philanthropies. Liu discussed the project Tuesday during an event at Seattle’s Populuxe Brewing hosted by the advocacy group Tech 4 Housing.

 

“The learning curve for us has not flattened,” she said. “I keep waiting for it to flatten. We are not affordable housing experts but we also wanted to move forward with something and be part of coming up with some solutions.”

Liu was joined by Tech 4 Housing Director Ethan Goodman and Bellwether Housing Director Amy Besunder to discuss what the tech industry can do to address the Seattle region’s housing crisis.

Liu said Microsoft doesn’t expect to loan the funds directly to real estate developers or become a landlord itself.

“We really have not figured out how we’re going to deploy the funds,” she said. “We’re looking at projects and we want flexibility, to be honest.”

 

In the months leading up to Microsoft’s announcement, the company partnered with Seattle online real estate giant Zillow to study the affordable housing crisis in their hometown. They found that since 2011, jobs in the Seattle region have grown 21 percent while growth in housing construction has lagged behind at 13 percent. Over the same time period, median home prices in the Puget Sound region increased 96 percent while the median household income only rose 34 percent, researchers found.

 

Since announcing the fund, Microsoft has continued to study the issue, talking to experts in the field and looking at models for sparking affordable housing construction in other cities.

The goal is “to understand the problem better,” Liu said. “That’s in our DNA.”

 

It isn’t clear when the fund will begin to take shape, but Liu said Microsoft hopes to make an announcement in the next two months. In the meantime, Tech 4 Housing is trying to mobilize tech workers in the region to put pressure on their employers to be part of the solution to the housing crunch.

 

“There’s a concern in society about the accountability of big tech companies and whom are they accountable to in this day and age. One really strong answer is they are very accountable to their employees,” said Goodman. “It is still a very tough market for talent and the employees at tech companies have a huge amount of leverage over their employers if they act together and if they’re organized.”

Source: Geekwire

Here’s how higher regulatory costs are impeding housing affordability

Despite recent declines in mortgage interest rates, housing affordability continues to be a key concern for homebuyers. And, rising cost burdens mean a larger share of household budgets are spent on rent.

For example, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, in early 2012 a typical family could afford 77.5% of all new and existing homes that were sold. Today, that share stands near a 10-year low at 61.4%. The percentage would be even lower if not for a recent uptick in income growth.

It is widely understood that a lack of inventory – particularly a dearth of new construction at affordable price points – is the primary cause of today’s housing challenges.

While ongoing (skilled) labor shortages and building material price volatility (made worse by tariffs) are slowing projects and raising construction costs, a fundamental limiting factor on development are the regulatory rules connected to single-family construction and apartment development.

The number of rules associated with developing land and building homes and apartments are immense in scope and involve all layers of government. Too often, these rules are examined in isolation, thus missing the “death by a thousand cuts” process that layers higher costs on the total construction process, holding back supply and contributing to the affordability crisis.

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In recent years, the National Association of Home Builders’ economics team undertook two detailed surveys of builders and developers to determine the aggregate effect of regulatory burdens on housing, with the second study co-authored with the National Multi Housing Council.

In 2016, NAHB published a study of the single-family sector that found, on average, approximately 24% of the final price of a single-family home was due to regulatory burdens imposed by all levels of government.

The results were revealing in terms of where these costs arise. Three-fifths of the total impact was due to higher costs associated with finished lots. For example, delays related to land development raise housing costs (recall that most land developed for housing is purchased using debt, which means higher interest expense with time).

In fact, the survey found that the typical lot is subject to a 6.6-month delay. However, in some tightly regulated markets, delays can exceed five years.

There are also costs for applying for zoning or subdivision approval, as well as for land that must be purchased but is required to be left unbuilt. The final estimates found that at the development stage, these costs add 14.6% to the final price of a typical new single-family home, with the top quartile of homes increasing by 18.8%.

Regulatory costs are also added during the construction phase. These costs include elements like permit, hook-up, impact and other fees associated to the builder. And building code requirements further add to the tally, depending on the jurisdiction. These construction-phase rules add, on average, 9.7% to the final price of a new single-family home.

READ ALSO: BUY TO LET MORTGAGES

It is not just the level of these burdens that matter, but also the recent trends in cost growth.

In a 2011 survey, NAHB estimated that regulatory burdens added a little more than $65,000 to the price of a typical new home. With respect to the 2016 survey, this average total climbed to almost $85,000.

For local policymakers who wonder where the newly built entry-level housing stock is, this number should give them pause. Excessive regulations often prevent the construction of sorely needed housing at lower price points. Moreover, the 29.8% growth in these regulatory burdens during this five-year period far outpaced the 2011-2016 measures of inflation (6.1%), material pricing (10.3%) and GDP growth (14.9%).

Of course, regulatory cost burdens are not limited to the single-family housing sector. To address this segment of the housing stock, NAHB partnered with the NMHC to conduct a similar survey for apartment development. Again, the results were striking. According to the study, 32.1% of total development costs associated with typical apartment construction are due to regulatory costs.

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These burdens came from rules that reflect fees and zoning approval expenses, delay effects, unused land, construction and other impact fees, inclusionary zoning requirements, and fees for required capital expenditures.

The survey did not tally costs associated with local opposition to adding apartment units in an area. In fact, 85% of the developers surveyed reported additional costs due to such NIMBYism-based opposition.

These recent studies of regulatory costs associated with home and apartment construction illustrate the challenge of increasing the production of quality, affordable housing –particularly in highly regulated markets and metro areas with large population and job growth.

Moreover, the estimates quantify and reinforce the conventional wisdom that if we as a nation want to ease housing affordability barriers, communities should begin by reducing the regulatory burdens associated with developing land and building homes. Communities that fail to do so will find that younger households will continue to vote with their feet and find markets where housing is more affordable.

Source: By Robert Dietz, Housing Wire

Cooperative Housing in the Spotlight

Part 1: Panel Discussion – Cooperative Housing Through Partnerships

Members of Cooperative Housing International will provide examples of best practices in cooperative housing that demonstrate innovation and successful ways of leveraging partnerships. Whether completed or underway, these case studies will show the potential of adaptation to meet the needs and opportunities in other regions and jurisdictions. A second session on housing cooperatives in France will follow at 11:15.

Time: June 5th, 2019, 9:30 to 12:45

Location: 7 Rue Saint-Polycarpe, 69001 Lyon

Room: Conditions des Soies

AIHS and its Laudable Commitment to Affordable Housing in Nigeria

The Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) has been recognised and endorsed by relevant industry stakeholders as the biggest platform for tackling housing deficit in Nigeria. The show has through its programs and quality attendance been able to generate some of the best ideas for scaling housing demand and supply in Nigeria.

Housing policies are often introduced by government whose tenures are largely limited, but the Abuja Housing Show is the only regular and permanent housing platform in Nigeria and Africa where old and new ideas on housing and construction are developed, adapted and presented to relevant authorities for implementation.

Through its advocacy and reportage, the show and its organisers have been able to keep housing stakeholders on their toes. The show’s organisers own the first and most vibrant Housing Development Programs on TV and Radio in the country. Through these platforms, they are also able to continuously advance housing issues, track the implementation of policies and demand accountability and efficiency from product suppliers, whether in the public or private sector.

As a result of the high cost and limited production of affordable housing in Nigeria, an important number of its population lives in rented property which condition varies from shacks to formal housing with highly speculated rent. Neither the government nor the private sector provides sufficient housing units especially for the masses that need and demand it. Formal housing production is at approximately 100 000 units per year and this is highly inadequate because at least 1 000 000 units are needed yearly to bridge the 17 to 20 million housing deficit by government’s target date of 2033.

It is in recognition of these seemingly daunting challenges that the Abuja International Housing Show is convened. It is a significant platform for real estate companies, mortgage finance managers, housing experts from all over the world and government officials to come together in a marriage of ideas to suggest tested and trusted modalities of solving these age-long challenges.

According to the convener, Bar Festus Adebayo, the show features a CEOs Forum, Panel Discussions, Breakout sessions, and individual keynote speakers with the purpose of identifying and analysing the methods of housing finance adopted by the country’s institutions, low income and informal groups in order to recognise the loopholes and suggest better plans.

AIHS: A Story of Success

Over the years, the show has been able to provide opportunities for home seekers to access affordable mortgage plans and even Rent-to-Own Schemes. Every year, over 5000 home seekers benefit from the cheap housing plans that are retailed by estate developers and even government housing projects at the show. These offers are usually limited to the show and home seekers know that there is no other way they could have gotten access to such flexible and relaxed payment plans.

Influencing Policies and Projects

At the end of every show, after thorough deliberations by Real Estate Managers, Industry CEOs, Mortgage Finance Executives and Government Officials, there is a communique drawn up, encapsulating the challenges and the solutions or action plans.

These communiques are usually adopted by the government – federal and state – and private organisations in the planning and execution of housing policies/projects which have so far aided them in the efficient provision of more houses.

Even after the shows, stakeholders continue to make reference to the communique in order to achieve maximum results.

Largest Gathering of Stakeholders

The show plays host to over 200 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from varied firms and institutions in the housing, construction and business industries across Africa and the world. It is the biggest convergence of such important figures sharing ideas, experience and expertise on how to lead a more effective and financially inclusive industry.

These top stakeholders in the real estate, mortgage housing finance, construction companies and professional institutions focus on macro-economic and socio-political environment and impact of real estate market.

According to the show’s convener, Bar. Festus Adebayo: “The forum which is a gathering of high profile professionals who are founders and business owners enables the opportunity to present and discuss challenges facing their respective organisations and the way forward. It is a collaborative and supportive environment for leaders in Nigerian real estate industry support services and mortgage banks. Participating in the forum also increase high level business contact.’’

The show always present the best opportunity for professional networking and business exchanges.

Awarding Excellence and Performance

The show has also developed a sustained value of awarding excellence and performance in the industry. The Show has been able to identify high-flyers, both in public and private sectors, delivering good results and living up to expectations, in spite of the obvious challenges in the industry.

The awards are usually meant to serve as a motivation for more performance. Most previous awardees went on to become elevated in their capacities because of how noteworthy their performances were – a validation for the show’s awards.

Unbeatable Outreach

As mentioned earlier, the Show and its organisers own the first and biggest housing development TV, Radio and Web programs in Nigeria. These specialised programs boast of very large viewership, being the number one stop for the latest developments in the housing and construction industry.

This cements their place as a major stakeholder in the industry. There is a recognisable level of commitment, passion and excellence in the administration of housing information and opportunity.

Most industry leaders, whether in the public or private sector are always keen on speaking with these Housing Development Programs because of the confidence they have in them and the realisation that their comments and opinion will travel far across.

Speaking in broad terms, the Abuja International Housing Show is the most established platform whose commitment to driving up housing supply and affordability in Nigeria is unmatched. The impact that has been made by the show on the housing and construction industry can never be over emphasised. And this is why it has continued to convene the show every year, with participants from different parts of the world seeking ideas and opportunities for the kind of change they always trust AIHS to bring.

By Ojonugbwa Felix Ugboja

North Dakota Affordable Housing fund gets $7.5M

North Dakota lawmakers are reinstating a program that subsidizes affordable housing projects, but the state funding is much lower than supporters had hoped.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that legislators approved $7.5 million for the Housing Incentive Fund, which has helped finance 2,500 rental units since 2011. The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s program wasn’t funded in 2017 due to limited state resources.

Gov. Doug Burgum had proposed allocating $20 million to bring back the housing incentive for 2019-2021. Lawmakers considered funding proposals of up to $40 million for the program.

The housing agency’s executive director, Jolene Kline, says she’s disappointed by the funding amount but pleased that the program has been restored.

Kline says the agency can likely support 150 rental units. She says they’ll solicit proposals in September.

By tri-cityherald

The Ontario Government’s Shameful Snub of Affordable Housing

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s new housing policy offers us a lot of things, but what it fails to mention might hurt vulnerable Canadians the most.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Toronto Mayor John Tory recently announced a $1.3 billion federal investment in the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, the city’s largest affordable housing provider. According to the federal government, the $1.3 billion will go toward renovating some 58,000 housing units across 1,500 buildings. It is the largest federal transfer of housing funds to a municipality in the country’s history.

The investment follows on the heels of Trudeau’s announcement of the federal government’s first-ever National Housing Strategy in 2017. Trudeau pledged to spend $40 billion to address the problems of inadequate housing and chronic homelessness in Canada over a 10-year period.

For his part, Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently pledged $1 billion to repair Ontario’s affordable housing stock and streamline the application process as part of the provincial government’s Community Housing Renewal Strategy. Exactly how much Toronto Community Housing will receive is unclear.

Ontario’s recent budget is silent on the issue as well. It doesn’t mention Toronto Community Housing once. Instead, the budget seems focused on boosting the overall housing supply while cutting access to social programs like affordable housing, income support and homelessness prevention by $550 million.

n per year. Funding for the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Housing and Affairs has been cut by 25 per cent overall.

When Trudeau first announced the National Housing Strategy, he famously declared that “housing rights are human rights.” The federal government’s investment in Toronto Community Housing is an important step toward fulfilling this promise. Now it’s the province’s turn to step up as well.

More than just a landlord

Affordable housing providers in Canada are facing an identity crisis.

Some critics have argued that Toronto Community Housing should behave like any other landlord. They argue its main job should be to collect rents, enforce leases and promptly evict tenants who fail to comply with the rules, regardless of their personal circumstances.

Toronto Community Housing has faced accusations of wasteful spending in the past. Residents and taxpayers should demand a crackdown, the critics say. A Toronto Sun columnist suggested that it should behave like a private landlord: “Clearly, private landlords are in business to make money. (Toronto Community Housing) officials really couldn’t care less.”

Ford would seem to agree. One of the hallmarks of Ontario’s new housing policy is a change to the application rules. Toronto Community Housing would be empowered to turn away prospective tenants who were previously evicted for criminal activity. Apparently Tory has campaigned for the rule change as well.

Toronto Community Housing is home to 110,000 people, including 30,000 youth and children and 20,000 seniors. The vast majority of residents live below the poverty line. Nearly 60 per cent of them are women, and one third of them self-identify as either having a disability or living with mental health challenges. For many people, eviction from Toronto Community Housing would mean they have nowhere else to live. Homelessness, poverty rates, and mental health are closely interrelated in Canada.

Properly understood in this light, Toronto Community Housing is more than just a private landlord. And the federal government’s investment is more than just a commitment to repairing bricks and mortar. Affordable housing is one of the planks of a more fair and just society. Ontario’s new housing policy fails to recognize this.

Affordable housing matters

Since the federal and provincial governments downloaded responsibility for affordable housing to municipalities in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Toronto Community Housing has lacked stable, long-term sources of funding and support from every level of government.

As a result, Toronto Community Housing faces a capital repairs shortfall of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years since it inherited a large stock of buildings without the resources to maintain them. The city’s affordable housing stock is literally crumbling.

The waiting list for a rent-subsidized unit in Toronto Community Housing is currently tens of thousands of families long. Most applicants can expect to wait seven years or more for a bachelor unit and longer than 10 years for a larger unit. The waiting list includes people experiencing homelessness, survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking and terminally ill people with fewer than two years to live.

A combination of factors has meant that Toronto Community Housing has failed to provide shelter for many people who need it most. Research shows that racialized women, Indigenous peoples, immigrant populations, and persons with disabilities, among others, are most likely to face housing discrimination in Canada. Homelessness is a barrier to the social advancement of historically marginalized groups in our society, particularly those who fall at the intersection of multiple systems of oppression and can face the greatest challenges in obtaining safe and adequate housing.

Police services are not equipped to contend with the complex issues facing people who experience poverty and homelessness. The criminal justice system is increasingly exclusionary of people with mental health challenges, among others, who comprise a large part of Toronto Community Housing’s population. Shifts in public policy surrounding poverty, homelessness and mental health have resulted in the criminalization of homelessness in Canada.

Faced with this reality, the federal government’s recognition that “housing rights are human rights” is a commitment to addressing the city’s increasingly competitive and inaccessible housing market. It’s a commitment to improving the safety, housing conditions and quality of life for thousands of city residents. It’s a commitment to empowering some of the most vulnerable members of our society by increasing their access to vital social services like job placement assistance and local community-building initiatives. Affordable housing providers can help to provide these services.

The provincial government’s new housing policy, on the other hand, fails to reflect the same values as the federal government’s plan.

Ontario should have allocated more for affordable housing in its budget, not less. To match the federal government’s investment, the province should have earmarked funds for Toronto Community Housing specifically. Mental health supports and other social programs aimed at homelessness prevention should have been made a top priority throughout. And the province should have recognized that housing rights are human rights, not privileges. This means they should extend to everyone. Prospective tenants who were previously evicted for criminal activity should not be denied access to affordable housing in the future.

Building for the future

Affordable housing providers should be funded and supported toward the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty in Canada. The federal government’s investment in Toronto Community Housing is a good start, but more funding and support from every level of government is needed to fulfil Trudeau’s promise that “housing rights are human rights” across the country.

At the same time, affordable housing providers should be held more accountable in meeting their human rights mandate. The National Housing Strategy is not a blank cheque. The promise of the policy requires that we spend residents and taxpayers’ money in socially responsible ways.

Canadians should invest in affordable housing. It’s a commitment to lifting the most vulnerable members of our society from the ground up — and lifting our entire country up in the process.

By Daniel Del Gobbo

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