Are housing associations straying too far from their historical mission of providing decent, affordable homes? What are the lessons for politicians and providers in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire? Amid an ever-deepening housing crisis, and two years after a tragedy that brought social housing under a sudden and unforgiving spotlight, there are plenty of big questions for the sector. But there are wider issues to consider too, according to those who know it best.
One key message coming from those who live in, work in, study or want to change social housing is that it’s about much more than just buildings. From programmes to help tenants find work, to opportunities to get involved with the creative arts, providers can help residents fulfil their potential and live happier, more settled lives. Recent research by the University of Salford’s sustainable housing and urban studies unit found that housing associations could support a tenant into employment for as little as £25 to £30 a year, and that many tenants thought housing associations were better placed to do this than other organisations, because of the relationships they already had.
Our interviewees also noted challenges relating to the UK’s ageing population and increasing rates of disability. Earlier this year, a report from Habinteg highlighted that there are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK, with an estimated 1.2 million wheelchair users, yet only 7% of housing stock in England has even basic accessibility features. With 28% of the population set to be 65 and over by 2036, new homes are crucial to avoid more older and disabled people going into residential care.
There was much to celebrate, too, with praise for housing association staff making the effort to get to know residents and for work to ensure LGBT tenants don’t feel ignored or isolated. And there was news of activists joining forces with architects to reimagine affordable homes
The first time Best Foods Fresh Farms Limited used rail to bring a consignment of tomatoes to Lagos from Kaduna, the owners found out on arrival that it was put in a wagon that had no window.
“In the heat, it took three days to arrive here by which time the tomato had cooked itself. This was 1,400 crates of tomato,” said Emmanuel Ijewere, the company’s CEO.
At the next attempt, through Naija Pride Agribusiness Limited, another company Ijewere controls, the company requested the tomatoes be put in a wagon with ventilation, but just outside Lokoja, Kogi State, there was an incident that caused a 48-hour delay. By the time it arrived in Lagos, Ijewere recalled they were able to retrieve not more than 30 percent to sell. If the company returns to road transport, where it would face bad, unpredictable roads, there would be other issues to contend with.
“With the worsening security situation, it means there are more checkpoints on the road, from 28-30 to now about 40,” Ijewere said, implying more delays and extortions from truck drivers.
Without physical security, there can be no food security, and in Nigeria, this concept reverberates with even more emphasis. BusinessDay’s interaction with some stakeholders, experts, and investors in the agric sector has shown security ranks as the top priority, which has to be fixed in order for the country to maximise its agricultural potentials, and invariably achieve food security. Other factors, considered important but not as much as security are electricity and roads.
“If there is no security, our people cannot go to their farms,” said Kabiru Ibrahim, national president, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), in a phone interview. “I even wrote a letter to the president on it, and that is why I think they are putting more efforts now to make sure they restore security.”
Ibrahim did not divulge details of the letter he says was sent to President Buhari in July, but stated, “There is consensus that insecurity is limiting (agricultural) productivity in the country.”
“From a business cost perspective, the cost of engaging security to protect business operations in certain areas adds to operational costs,” buttressed Mezuo Nwuneli, managing partner, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers Ltd.
The cost of moving goods across the country is impacted by kidnapping, armed robbery, and limits the ability to operate in some parts of the country.
In other climes, one can move at any time of the day, and even late at night, but in Nigeria, it is often already risky even during the day, and the risk goes up exponentially at night.
“That in itself reduces economic activities, and ability to operate,” Nwuneli said. “Roads and power may be ranked equally, but security ranks top.”
For Ibrahim, any emphasis on electricity (or even roads) is not necessary now. “These are salient issues around agriculture. They are worth mentioning,” he said, but emphasising his preference, added, “We can harp on insecurity.”
The AFAN president, however, also acknowledged, “If you don’t do well in transport, you are certainly going to do something very bad to agriculture.”
Post-harvest losses (in Nigeria) have been estimated to range between 5 and 20 percent for grains; 20 percent for fish and as high as between 50 and 60 percent for tubers, fruits and vegetables, and without electricity not much can be done in storage or even processing for value addition. Good roads also play a role in ensuring agricultural produce would not only be saved from losses, but in fact, get to the market and enable farmers get the best returns.
Post-harvest loss is not just a crop thing, it affects even dairy where if one milks a cow and it is not properly preserved within three hours, it will go completely bad. As some researchers have noted, increased food production is not the final solution to food security. It has to be complemented by good harvest and post-harvest practices to reduce the amount of food loss. A 50 percent reduction in post-harvest food loss in Nigeria will also reduce the need for food importation.
Augustine Okoruwa, senior project manager, Post-harvest Loss Alliance at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), told BusinessDay that all factors (security, electricity, and road) are important and need to be addressed simultaneously.
“We need to reduce post-harvest losses in order to achieve food security,” he said. “In order to reduce post-harvest losses, infrastructure has to be on ground. There has to be security, because if you have to move produce from one place to the other, the farmers’ security is important.”
As he noted, if farmers cannot go to the farm to plant, they cannot go to the farm to harvest and, invariably, the country will not achieve food security.
Even as the country is incentivising farmers to produce more food, as stakeholders have noted, there is a need to ensure they are secured enough to produce food, and that the road infrastructure is good enough for them to access the market. It is also imperative that there is power for proper storage and processing, which will reduce post-harvest losses and increase value addition, respectively.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Mr. Ade Ipaye as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President.
Ipaye who was former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State works from the Office of the Vice President.
The President has also approved the re-appointment of Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to President on Economic Matters; Mrs Maryam Uwais who retains her position as Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme as well as Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters.
Ade Ipaye reappointed as deputy chief of staff
Also, re-appointed is Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, who will now serve as the Special Adviser to the President on Ease Of Doing Business.
Equally, President Buhari has also appointed Ime Okon as Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, as Senior Special Assistant on Education Interventions, Mr. Louis Odion as Senior Technical Assistant on Print Media, and Mr. Ajuri Ngelale as Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs in the Presidency
12 July 2019: The research network Southern Voice launched six SDG case studies at an event on the sidelines of the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The case studies are part of Southern Voice’s ‘State of the SDGs’ research initiative, and focus on three of the global Goals: SDG 4 (quality education); SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy); and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth).
The six country case studies explore experiences with implementing these Goals in Bolivia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Peru and Sri Lanka. The Bolivia case study illustrates the country’s challenges in monitoring education outcomes (SDG 4), and assesses the synergies and trade-offs between access to education and other development progress. For example, gains in school attendance have not contributed to reducing poverty (SDG 1) nor to reducing income inequality (SDG 10). Further, although education returns are almost twice as high for women than for men, women typically earn less than men for all levels of education.
The Ghana case study examines the role of development partnerships in supporting the country’s progress towards clean and affordable energy for all (SDG 7), and underscores how progress in this area can contribute to other SDGs, including SDG 13 (climate action). The case study finds that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to increase to 13.3 million metric tons if Ghana’s rural areas continue to use polluting household fuels. The case study also highlights differences in clean energy use between urban and rural areas in Ghana; in rural Ghana, only 6% of households use clean fuels for cooking, compared to 35% of urban households.
The India case study examines the conditions that prevent women from accessing decent and equal employment (SDG 8). It underscores the role of social structures in perpetuating gender discrimination in India. The case study finds that access to education does not shape women’s entry into employment; rather, their participation in the labor market is limited by social norms and safety conditions in public spaces. For example, when a family’s income rises, women are discouraged from working; marriage, motherhood and care responsibilities also restrict women’s access to the labor market.
The Nigeria case study analyzes the impact of conflict and violence on SDG 4, finding that violence causes students and teachers to flee their homes. The case study underscores the difficulties in quantifying education challenges for internally displaced children, nomadic peoples and the disabled, who are often excluded from education and are not included in data.
The Peru case study focuses on education and employment, finding that some groups have benefited less from access to education. As students in Peru advance between grades, female students lag further behind.
The Sri Lanka case study examines the impacts of global adoption of advanced technology on the national labor market, including economic shifts and potential job losses. The case study emphasizes that workers with higher levels of expertise and knowledge are less likely to be replaced by technology than workers with only manual skills.
In a keynote address at the launch event on 12 July 2019, former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla said progress on the SDGs will come “from working with the people and not just for the people.” Southern Voice presented the country case studies for participants’ consideration. The discussion focused on leaving no one behind, synergies and trade-offs, and global systemic concerns in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Southern Voice will reflect the event conclusions in the forthcoming ‘Global Report on the State of the SDGs,’ which will be launched in September 2019 on the sidelines of the SDG Summit.
Southern Voice is a network of more than 50 think tanks from Africa, Asia and Latin America, which serves as an open platform for discussing the 2030 Agenda.
RACINE, Wis. — In this old manufacturing city that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, dislike for President Donald Trump runs wide and deep. Images of crying children at the Mexican border typically serve as Exhibit A on the list of grievances that Democratic voters cite against the president.
Many of those voters also express strong views opposing illegal border crossings, often rooted in their own family stories of coming to America. If you want a chance at the American dream, they say, you should play by the rules.
“I think everybody should come in the right way, just like our ancestors did,” said Christy Cowles, 59, a retired city worker who is a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Voters like Cowles present a conundrum for Democrats on the sensitive topic of immigration. While many Democrats express a desire to ease the way for aspiring immigrants, party leaders also worry that an immigration agenda that shifts too far left could alienate voters in tightly contested states like Wisconsin, ranging from avowed liberals like Cowles to coveted swing voters.
In the first round of Democratic debates in June, candidates staked out aggressively liberal positions on immigration, with near-unanimous support for decriminalizing illegal border crossings.
The idea was first advanced by Julián Castro, a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who is among those scheduled to be onstage Wednesday night in the second set of debates. Jeh Johnson, the head of homeland security during the Obama administration, criticized the concept as tantamount to permitting open borders. Since then, another candidate, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, also slated to appear Wednesday night, said he would virtually eliminate immigration detention.
In a sign of the escalating concerns within the party, several Democratic governors this month expressed alarm about open-borders rhetoric. And a document recently circulated to House Democrats from party consultants advised a more moderate approach — suggesting the party emphasize a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants who “work hard and pay their taxes” but also stress the importance of secure borders.
“Beyond policy, the best frame on immigration acknowledges the problem and talks about solutions — both addressing border security and a path to earned citizenship,” read the memo, which was addressed to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
A recent Gallup poll found that immigration tops the list of issues that Americans view as important. Trump’s demands for a wall at the Mexican border, as well as tighter restrictions on immigration, have emerged as an emotional issue in the presidential campaign. The president and his supporters have called Democrats soft on enforcement; Democrats counter that the wall and inhumane treatment of those seeking asylum are antithetical to core American values.
There are few places where the topic is more contentious than in Wisconsin, a swing state where it has been used as a cudgel against Democrats, even in local races for positions with no role in federal immigration policy.
Rob Grover, a Democrat who ran for the state Assembly last year, said he was surprised when a flyer paid for by the Wisconsin Republican Party suggested he wanted to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Grover, who describes himself as conservative on immigration issues, said he had never expressed such a view. He lost his race in western Wisconsin.
Immigration has also emerged as an issue in other state races, with right-leaning appeals that appear designed to inflame anti-immigrant passion, according to Ben Wikler, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, who blamed huge last-minute spending around immigration and other issues for defeating the Democratic candidate in this year’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election. Special interest groups on both sides of the race reported spending more than $4 million in an effort to sway its outcome.
With its Democratic city center and a surrounding rural area that skews Republican, Racine County often swings from one party to another, serving as a national bellwether in predicting the outcome of presidential races. In 2016, the county voted for Trump.
And in this swing district, some local Democrats have speculated that immigration helped torpedo their efforts last year to win the congressional seat held by former House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to Fabi Maldonado, a Racine County supervisor and immigration advocate.
The Democratic candidate, Randy Bryce, had been arrested while protesting Ryan’s position on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which delays deportation and allows work permits for immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
“There was internal fighting in the Democratic Party over whether he was too open about supporting illegal immigration,” Maldonado said. “Some of that might be true, but you have to be for immigration rights if you want Latinx voters to turn out.”
Cowles, the retired city worker, said that her forebears arrived in Racine a century ago from Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Germany, joining a wave of European immigrants who settled this lakefront city 30 miles south of Milwaukee. African Americans arrived during the Great Migration and, more recently, the Latino population has swelled to about 20%. The city has largely embraced its multiethnic mosaic. Tortillas are sold on the same block as kringles, the Wisconsin state pastry introduced by Danish immigrants. The Racine City Council recently endorsed the idea of permitting driver’s licenses for unauthorized residents.
Interviews with more than a dozen Democrats and left-leaning voters revealed disagreement on immigration. Some favored more relaxed policies and others urged caution, recalling stories passed down through generations about how their ancestors struggled to find sponsors before arriving on Ellis Island.
Kevin Hughes, who retired from a factory that makes shampoo, said he favored more liberal policies. “Everybody is going somewhere else to try to make a better life for their family,” said Hughes, 59. “Why would you want to criminalize that?”
Maria Haenel, 35, who was born in Illinois to Mexican parents, held a similar view. “Even if immigrants that have come over the border, even if they don’t have papers, they should be given a chance to get a work visa, or a student visa, or some type of help to stay here and be able to live the American dream,” said Haenel, a caregiver for older adults.
Yet some members of Racine’s Mexican American community said they worried about opening up borders too liberally. Lewis Mendoza, 68, takes pride in the contribution of Mexican people to the Wisconsin economy, particularly in the dairy industry, where a high percentage of workers are believed to be unauthorized.
“There was a time when blue-eyed, blond-haired people did that job,” said Mendoza, a Democrat who voted for Clinton. “You don’t see any white people anymore. It’s all Mexican people. What are you going to do if you send them back?”
But Mendoza, a veteran who has worked as a dishwasher in Racine restaurants alongside unauthorized workers, also expressed skepticism about migrants who enter the country illegally. “As far as just jumping over a fence or something, I don’t know about that. I’m a little leery about that,” he said.
Racine is known for its ethnic festivals, many held on the shore of Lake Michigan.
A lakefront fair last week sponsored by the Roma Lodge, an Italian welfare association, featured fireworks, Frank Sinatra music and a dinner of mostaccioli and ravioli. Jim Faraone, a former board member of the organization, was in charge of selling lottery tickets to raise money for local health charities.
Faraone, a Vietnam veteran, is a swing voter, having supported both Barack Obama and Clinton, but also Ryan, a Republican. He also expressed skepticism about an overly broad border policy.
“They shouldn’t be here unless they came in legally; it’s the only way,” said Faraone, 77, whose father immigrated from Italy and developed the home building business that Faraone later operated. Echoing Trump, Faraone expressed fear that other countries were offloading “murderers and other criminals” into the United States.
Ginny Ziolkowski, 70, also said she swung from one party to another, most recently supporting Obama and Clinton, but before that President George W. Bush. As for Trump, “I personally can’t stand him,” she said as she took in the view at Racine’s lakefront.
But Ziolkowski, whose husband was a Racine County executive — a lakefront park here bears his name — said she leaned conservative on immigration issues and opposed providing health care benefits to unauthorized migrants, another idea some candidates endorsed during the first debates. It’s clearly an issue the Trump campaign thinks works in its favor; on Tuesday, it released a new advertisement blasting Democrats for supporting the idea.
“I feel they need to come in legally if they want to live here,” Ziolkowski said. “And they should not be getting education, health care and other benefits.”
Facts have emerged on why Taraba State was listed among six other states selected to benefit from the N23 billion United States Agency for International Development (USAID) intervention on Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (E-WASH) pilot programme in Nigeria.
Taraba was selected along Imo, Sokoto, Abia, Niger and Delta states as beneficiaries of the $65m USAID intervention in Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (WASH) programme aimed at ensuring effective and sustainable provision of Water in the states.
General Manager Taraba State Water Board, Sani Buba Siam, who stated this at a media briefing in Jalingo, noted that the state was chosen for the programme as it has one of the most responsive water boards in the country.
Siam also said that the responsiveness of the state’s water board has equally attracted a multi billion Naira intervention by the African Development Bank (ADB) in water supply to the state.
The E- WASH programme, which he said would be in the form of technical assistance and capacity development, would run for four years beginning from last year.
The vice president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, May 21, paid a visit to the Learning Centre, a school he and his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo built for orphans affected by the insurgency in the northeast region.
During the visit to the school in Borno, Osinbajo was in the company of the state governor, Kashim Shettima and the governor-elect Professor Babagana Zulum.
Moreover, Osinbajo commissioned late Ambassador Gaji Galtimari housing estate in Borno (formerly CBN Quarters) which comprises 12 blocks of 144 apartments acquired and reconstructed by the Shettima.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Osinbajo on Thursday, May 16, said the federal government was re-designing the country’s education curriculum as part of its education road map, and every child would count.
Osinbajo said this as he was delivering the 23rd Convocation Lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), during the university’s award of higher degree and postgraduate diploma certificates.
The title of the lecture was Africa Centres of Excellence in African Universities: a Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development.
Harry Triguboff is remarkably calm about Australia’s worst real estate slump in a generation considering he’s got more at stake than perhaps anyone on the planet.
“We have our ups and downs and we keep building,” Mr Triguboff, 85, said in an interview from his office overlooking George Street, one of the busiest in Sydney. The developer, who’s worth US$9.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, plans to push on with expansion, even as the Sydney property market slides deeper into the doldrums.
“If prices fall, I’ll buy the land cheaper,” Australia’s second-richest person said. “As long as you don’t lose your cool. You have to look at things in the longer term.”
Mr Triguboff, known as “High-Rise Harry”, has been in it for the long haul. He’s earned the nickname after more than half a century in the business. His closely held Meriton has built about one of every 10 apartments in Australia’s biggest city and more than 75,000 along the east coast of the country since he completed his first project at age 30.
For most of that time, the Australian property market has enjoyed strong growth, but not now. National home prices fell 5.6 per cent in the year through January, the biggest annual decline since 1983, according to data from CoreLogic Inc. Hardest-hit has been Mr Triguboff’s home town of Sydney, where prices are down 12 per cent from their mid-2017 peak.
Sydney has been caught up in a property downturn sweeping the globe. Manhattan’s median condo price has dipped below US$1 million for the first time in three years, Hong Kong home values recently endured their longest losing streak since 2008, and prices in London’s prime central neighbourhoods are 19 per cent below their 2014 peak.
Ben Udy, an economist at Capital Economics, expects Sydney prices to keep dropping until mid-2020, eventually bottoming out at 20 per cent below their peak. Apartments could bear the brunt of the downturn, after a building binge that’s left a glut of units, he said.
For many investors, this is the first time they’ve seen a sustained decline.
Mr Triguboff, though, has weathered slumps before, most notably in the mid-1970s when debts almost crippled the business and led to an insistence on funding projects from his own reserves.
He’s overcome tougher obstacles. Mr Triguboff fled to Australia as a boy from a Russian community in China after World War II. After arriving in 1948, he then spent time in the UK, Israel and South Africa before moving back to Australia in 1960. He ran milk delivery and taxi businesses before building his first block of units in 1963.
Mr Triguboff remains as active as ever. Current projects include Pagewood Green in Sydney’s eastern suburbs – the biggest project he’s undertaken – and his first beachfront tower, the 75 level Ocean development on the Gold Coast.
Despite the recent tumble in prices, Mr Triguboff isn’t slowing down. “We build at the same rate,” he said.
That confidence stems from flexibility in his strategy. Mr Triguboff builds apartments for the sale, rental and short-stay markets, and changes the amount of stock made available based on where demand is strongest.
Meriton has 9,000 units available for rent, Mr Triguboff estimates, and he expects that to climb to 10,000 by next year. Its Meriton Suites division is the largest owner of hotel rooms in the country.
“I don’t care whether they lease or they buy,” added Mr Triguboff. “So where leasing is concerned we are very strong. I build 40 units a week and I can lease 150 units a weeks. So where is the problem?”
Growing the business in a cooling market will be difficult. Constraints on foreign buyers add to the challenge, and a slowdown from China could be particularly problematic for Mr Triguboff, whose brand of affordable high-rise apartments is a hit with migrants from the world’s most populous country.
Mr Triguboff remains optimistic. “China has more than one billion people,” he noted. “And they love Australia. I think they love Australia as much as we love Australia. So there will always be enough of them that will buy.”
A sale of Meriton was considered in 2014, but five years later Mr Triguboff remains firmly in control. His grandchildren Daniel and Ariel Hendler, both in their 20s, are involved in the family business and stand as potential successors to the octogenarian.
And what about his health?
Mr Triguboff describes himself as looking better than he feels. He said he had just one day off work through ill health last year. “How many did you have?” he joked.
The Pingree heirs are comprised of the fifth, sixth, and seventh generations of the Pingree family, descended from Salem shipping merchant David Pingree. They own landholdings across Maine, which are managed by the Seven Islands Land Company.
King Ranch Heirs — 911,215 acres
The sprawling King Ranch was first assembled in the 1800s by Henry King, a former indentured servant who went on to earn a fortune as a steamboat captain, according to Forbes. The land now crosses four counties in Texas and Florida, and includes ranching, hunting, farming, and oil and gas operations.
Brad Kelley — 1 million acres
The famously media-shy Brad Kelley finally confirmed to The Wall Street Journal last year that he owns roughly 1 million acres — mostly in west Texas, but also in Florida, Hawaii, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In 2012, Kelley bought the 800-acre Calumet Farm in Kentucky for $36 million, where he now bases his horse-racing operations.
“I grew up on a farm and that’s about as good an explanation as there is,” he told the Journal when asked about his land acquisitions. “Land is something I know. It’s something I have an affinity for. It becomes part of your DNA.”
Singleton Family — 1.1 million acres
The Singleton family owns ranches in New Mexico and Santa Fe, passed down from the family patriarch Henry Singleton, who died in 1999. Singleton was the co-founder of the company Teledyne, and started buying up land in 1986. He eventually purchased 1.1 million acres’ worth of ranches.
Irving Family — 1.246 million acres
J.D. Irving Limited, dubbed “one of Canada’s richest and most secretive business dynasties, owns a collective 3 million acres of timberland across Canada and the United States. The family’s US branch, Irving Woodlands, has managed roughly over 1 million acres in Maine for more than 60 years.
Reed Family — 1.37 million acres
The Reed family’s Green Diamond Resource Company was founded in 1890 and is now among the oldest continuously operating forest products companies in the Pacific northwest. The family’s holdings span 1.37 million acres across California, Oregon, and Washington.
Stan Kroenke — 1.38 million acres
Sports mogul Stan Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Nuggets, recently bought the historic Waggoner Ranch in Texas, boosting his holdings by more than 500,000 acres.
Emmerson Family — 1.95 million acres
The Emmerson family owns Sierra Pacific Industries, the country’s second-largest lumber producer, along with roughly 2 million acres of timberland across California and Washington.
Ted Turner — 2 million acres
Media mogul Ted Turner, best known for founding CNN, used to be the single largest private landowner in the country until his roughly 2 million acres were surpassed in 2011.
The 78-year-old billionaire owns land in 10 different states, and has cultivated a herd of 51,000 bison spread across 15 of his ranches in an effort to restore the country’s endangered bison population.
“When I was a little boy, I was interested in the natural world,” Turner told said.”We had a book about wildlife and it had the story of bison — how when the white men, [Christopher] Columbus landed, there were 30 million bison roaming the great plains of North America. Then, 200 years later there were 200 left. They came that close to extinction and I said, ‘What a terrible, sad thing.’ They were so cool-looking and I had never seen one, except in pictures.”
John Malone — 2.2 million acres
John Malone, who has been nicknamed the “Cable Cowboy’’ for his telecommunications ventures, is the single largest landowner in the United States with 2.2 million acres of land.
He leapt ahead of Ted Turner in 2010 as the country’s largest individual landowner in when he made the largest single ranch sale in more than a decade by purchasing the 290,100-acre Bell Ranch in New Mexico.
Malone has also bought up parcels of land across the US, including in Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, and Maryland.
Malone has a $9.22 billion net worth, is the chairman of Liberty Media, and also owns 28% of Discovery Communications, 8% of the publicly traded Atlanta Braves, and one-quarter of Liberty Global, the largest international cable company with 29 million subscribers.
Malone said, he considers a variety of factors before purchasing land, including aesthetics, economic viability, self-sufficiency, current management, and whether it can represent economic diversification for himself and his family.
“Productive land is one of the very few permanent values throughout history,” Malone said. Source: .businessinsider.com
Donald Trump has long enjoyed presenting himself as a self-made man, claiming the real estate portfolio that brought him wealth and fame is the product of hard graft and vision, nothing more.
Frederick Christ Trump (yes, you read that right) built up a huge property empire in the mid-20th century, incorporating 27,000 apartments and row houses in the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, while the young Donald was raised in a 23-room, nine bathroom mansion in the leafy middle-class suburb of Jamaica Estates, making a nonsense of his claim to have sprung from hardship.
Fred was born in 1905, the son of German immigrant Frederick Drumpf, who had arrived in New York on 19 October 1885 from Kallstadt via Bremen, a 16-year-old seeking to evade military conscription.
Drumpf initially settled in the Big Apple before relocating to Seattle and then moving on to the Yukon Territory to take part in the Klondike Gold Rush, where he operated restaurants serving horse meat and a string of brothels catering to itinerant miners venturing in from the cold.
A wealthy man, Frederick married Elizabeth Christ in 1902 and returned to New York where he worked as a hotel keeper and where their son Fred was raised in the Bronx.
Fred Trump started his first business venture at 15 in 1920, building garage extensions to existing houses as the automobile’s future at the heart of American life was becoming increasingly clear. Too young to sign the cheques, he became partners with his mother in Elizabeth Trump & Son. He built his first house two years after leaving high school.
Taking advantage of the Great Depression, when Franklin D Roosevelt’s government was doing all it could to bolster the construction and home financing industries, Fred Trump gradually grew his business throughout the 1930s to the 1950s by borrowing from the Federal Housing Authority and making influential friends among the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
His properties were “plain but sturdy brick rental towers, clustered together in immaculately groomed parks”, as his New York Times obituary put it, selling for $3,990 and spread across the low-income neighbourhoods of Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, Flatbush and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn and Flushing and Jamaica Estates in Queens.
He also built apartments for servicemen in the Second World War in Pennsylvania and Virginia and foresaw the advent of supermarkets, building one of America’s first, the Trump Market at Woodhaven, New York, whose slogan was: “Serve yourself and save!”
Known for his thrift, one of Fred’s few luxuries was a Cadillac with a personalised “FTC” vanity plate (his son’s is “DJT”). Donald would recall in his ghost-written business manual The Art of the Deal (1987) that his father would roll up at construction sites after the working day was done and collect stray nails from the ground for his carpenters to use again the next morning.
He would also water down paint and manufacture his own disinfectant and cockroach spray to save cash, sending brand samples to labs to determine their ingredients.
What had cost $2 a bottle, he got mixed for 50 cents,” remembered his son.
Profiled by the trade magazine American Builder and Building Age in 1940, this side of his personality was revealed in depth: “Until last year he never had an office, and carried all his bookkeeping records around in his pocket. The ‘office’ he now has is a little structure of about 90 square feet of space in which the only occupant is a girl to write letters and answer the telephone. He still does most of his office work on the breakfast table at home.”
That office, employee Richard Levy told The Times, was a former dentist’s practice in Beach Haven, Coney Island: “I felt like Custer… There were all these huge wooden Indians all over the place.’’
Fred Trump’s practices were seldom free of controversy. A hard-bitten and ruthless man, he would lie about his family heritage, saying his ancestors hailed from Sweden so as not to deter potential Jewish tenants and developed a reputation for turning away black applicants, frequently bringing him into conflict with indignant civil rights groups.
As a father, Fred had hoped his eldest son, Fred Jr, would follow him into the family business and was disappointed, scorning the boy and turning instead to Donald, the class prankster at school.
In The Art of the Deal, President Trump describes the lessons he absorbed from his old man: “I never threw money around. I learned from my father that every penny counts, because before too long your pennies turn into dollars.”
Perhaps more tellingly, he revealed: “I was never intimidated by my father, the way most people were. I stood up to him, and he respected that.”
Donald Trump’s relationship with Fred has often been characterised as combative and oedipal, with the son closer to his Scottish mother Mary McLeod, the inspiration behind his golf resorts in Ayrshire and Aberdeen.
Whereas Trump Sr was largely frugal, although he was vain about his dyed hair in old age, Donald was flashy and flamboyant, vowing to take Manhattan and enter the luxury apartment market, dreaming of building the world’s tallest tower with his name emblazoned on it before turning his eye to the Eastern Seaboard and the gaming tables of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
While Fred may not have shared his boy’s taste for ostentation, he approved of his ambition and did not hesitate to bail him out when his Taj Mahal Casino folly hit the rocks in 1991.
“When the Taj was sinking like Donald’s own private Titanic, Fred Trump rushed to the casino to buy $3.35m in chips to buoy his flailing child, who used the money to avoid default by making an interest payment he wouldn’t otherwise have had the liquid reserves to meet. A straight loan would have put Fred Trump in the lengthy queue of creditors. With his loan in the form of chips he could redeem it as soon as his son had the capital.
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission ruled a year later that Fred Trump had engaged in an illegal loan and that Donald should return it, which would have forced him into instant bankruptcy. The Trumps blithely ignored the finding and instead paid a meagre $65,000 fine, though the manoeuvre failed to save the casino.”