Orange County launches economic incentive to reduce permit costs

first_img Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter In order to spur new construction activity and support efforts to assist our community with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Orange County Government’s Division of Building Safety has launched a plan to supplement permit fees up to $10 million during a six-month period. This will allow all applicants to obtain their permits at no cost, while ensuring all construction activity meets required approvals and inspections. This plan incentivizes new residential and commercial construction, alterations and repairs to move forward with reduced costs for all involved.During times of economic hardship, unpermitted work generally increases. With the permit fees covered by the Division of Building Safety, the risk of a spike in unpermitted work will be reduced. With hurricane season in mind, ensuring Florida Building Code compliance for all projects is extremely important.Orange County also understands the affordable housing crisis is still affecting our residents. Now more than ever, this incentive will assist with reducing the costs for home building, to help create a community that works for everyone.Orange County Government also understands the impacts from the pandemic have yet to be fully realized. Recent permitting and inspections data shows that development activity was at first adversely impacted, but has continued steadily to date. Even though this data is encouraging, input from our industry indicates the impact on sales and new starts has been dramatic. Often, the impact on permitting data due to reduced sales lags by several months. Projects already contracted proceeded, but new project sales have declined rapidly.Source of FundingThe Division of Building Safety will supplement the permitting fees during this program using resources from its fee-payment reserves that have been maintained through many years of fiscal responsibility. This reserve fund is held separately from other County-maintained accounts. Fiscal strength in Orange County remains strong.GuidelinesThe program period is up to six-months following institution, or up to $10 million in fees covered;The program will be a first-come, first-served basis;Incentives only apply to fees assessed by the Division of Building Safety for enforcing the Florida Building Code and does not cover Impact Fees, The Office of the Fire Marshal permitting and review fees, and other associated costs;No project will receive a benefit in excess of $100,000 to include all associated permits;Requests for permit extensions may be considered when all permit fees associated with the permit/project are paid in full in accordance with the adopted fee schedule by the applicant.For more information on permitting and this Economic Incentive Program, please visit the Division of Building Safety homepage. TAGSCOVID-19Division of Building SafetyEconomyNew ConstructionOrange County GovernmentPermitsRecovery Previous articleApopka Burglary ReportNext articleFlorida becomes first state to enact DNA privacy law, blocking insurers from genetic data Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Please enter your comment! Orange County Government’s Division of Building Safety has launched a plan to supplement permit fees up to $10 million during a six-month periodFrom the Orange County Newsroom The Anatomy of Fear LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

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Modernisation Fund calls for applications

first_imgModernisation Fund calls for applications Howard Lake | 11 November 2005 | News About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Applications to this fund are restricted to one per organisation. There will be a further call during the 2006/2007 financial year.Further details and applications forms are available from Mr Paul Holbrook, Voluntary and Community Unit, Department for Social Development, Level 3, Lighthouse Building, Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 2JBYou can also request a pack by telephone on 028 9082 9428, text phone 028 9082 9446 or email [email protected] should be returned by 4.00pm on 10 January 2006.center_img Tagged with: Ireland The Department for Social Development iin Northern Ireland is seeking applications for its £3m Modernisation Fund by 10 January 2006. The fund is directed at existing charities, voluntary and community organisations (or partnerships of organisations) and social economy enterprises that are already involved in delivering services. This initiative aims to give the voluntary and community sector an opportunity to modernise, reorganise and reposition itself, so as to become more sustainable and more able to deliver new and better services in an era of inevitable change.Voluntary and community organisations are invited to submit applications showing how can deliver services in a new or improved way, more cost effectively and efficiently particularly through meaningful partnership arrangements. Advertisement  17 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

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New Morrisons funding means CLIC Sargent can provide cash help if a child’s cancer return

first_img  79 total views,  1 views today Morrisons will provide £50,000 to CLIC Sargent to enable the charity to provide families with cash help should their child’s cancer return.The announcement follows a report from CLIC Sargent that reveals a quarter of its social care staff’s workload is spent working with young cancer patients who have relapsed.The report, Cancer Costs Again, released ahead of World Cancer Day on Monday 4 February, highlights the emotional and financial impact on families when a child or young person’s cancer comes back.Families currently receive a grant from CLIC Sargent towards the immediate costs when their child is initially diagnosed with cancer, which helps cover expenses such as travel to hospital, parking, childcare and extra food costs.CLIC Sargent is Morrisons’ charity partner and the partnership has so far raised more than £6 million. The new funding will let CLIC Sargent give families a second grant if the cancer returns after treatment.Tracy Cosgrave, CLIC Sargent’s Associate Director of Services, said:“Sadly, for some young people and their families, cancer costs more than once: more travel costs, energy bills, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. These costs come at a time when they’re often still dealing with the financial fall-out from their first diagnosis and trying to cope with cancer forcing them to put their lives on hold again.“We’re extremely grateful that, with Morrisons’ help, we’re able to give families who find themselves in this position a second grant. On behalf of the families, we would like to thank all the Morrisons customers who will be supporting us.”David Scott, Head of Corporate Affairs at Morrisons, said: Advertisement Tagged with: corporate “We’re delighted that the generosity of our colleagues and customers is funding such an important grant.” Melanie May | 1 February 2019 | News New Morrisons funding means CLIC Sargent can provide cash help if a child’s cancer returncenter_img Main image: Rachel and Duncan Larkman, from Crediton, Devon with their daughter Jasmine, now 16, who was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was seven and it returned when she was ten. All wearing their CLIC Sargent World Cancer Day bands.  80 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis9 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis9 About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

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SGA brings “politics to the table” with interactive event

first_imgprintThe Student Government Association hosted an interactive event Wednesday night focused on creating a conversation about divisive political issues and bridging the partisan gap.Bring it to the Table is a national movement created by Julie Winokur.  The filmmaker travels to college campuses to hear students’ different perspectives on hot-button political issues.Winokur discusses free markets with student Alexander Parris. Twitter SGA Diversity Director promotes inclusion on campus ReddIt Mackenzie Holsthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mackenzie-holst/ Linkedin Mackenzie is a copyeditor and reporter for TCU360, mainly covering SGA and politics. She studies Journalism and Political Science and hails from Orange County, California. Mackenzie Holsthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mackenzie-holst/ “[The documentary] really didn’t change my mind all that much, but I definitely did hear some new perspectives that I did not hear before,” Stegall said.All students in attendance were asked to fill out a short survey on their phone before and after the event to compile data on students’ partisanship.Students could rank themselves on a scale of liberal to conservative and Democrat to Republican, as well as characterize the opposite side as either “uncompromising” or “open-minded.”These surveys have been taken by students across the nation, and the statistics are listed on Bring it to the Table’s website.Parris filling out the survey of his political affiliations before the event. TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Linkedin Twitter Facebook ReddIt The event included a screening of the documentary “Bring it to the Table,” and a round-table discussion between Winokur and two student volunteers.The volunteers started the conversation by moving a flower pot on the table in the direction of their political affiliation. Then, they were asked a series of questions about their beliefs and why they held them.One of the volunteer students was a self-proclaimed anarchist. Senior English major Will Stegall said that he is used to being the only anarchist in a room and having his beliefs put on the spot.Stegall discusses dissenting beliefs with Parris. Mackenzie Holsthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mackenzie-holst/ Senior theatre major Shannon Fulton said that Bring it to the Table gave her context to how people with opposing viewpoints discuss issues.Fulton, who identifies as generally “more liberal,” said that while it was helpful to hear the other side, she also had an urge to “lecture” the opposing student.“That’s like a personal thing that I have to overcome,” Fulton said. “There were a couple moments when I thought ‘You’re only looking at it through one lens.’ So, I don’t know, I’ll try.” Previous articleSPORTS ISSUE: Women’s basketball previewNext articleReport: Johnny Manziel’s ex fears for safety following possible assault Mackenzie Holst RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Students open up at the Dear World College Tour Mackenzie Holst The College of Science and Engineering Dean, Phil Hartman, retires after 40 consecutive years Mackenzie Holsthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mackenzie-holst/ New student body president: ‘We will accomplish great things’ Website| + posts Winokur said the main goal of this event, and the documentary, was to get people engaged in listening and examining political issues from a fresh perspective undefined by partisanship.“I want them to understand that their voices matter and that they have to do a better job at refocusing our attention on problem solving,” Winokur said. “I want them to feel encouraged about discussing substantive issues and inviting dialogue with people who have different views.”Winokur talking about the documentary to the audience. Will Stegall and Julie Winokur discuss the role of the state in politics at the Bring it to the Table event. Facebook Watson edges Thompson for student body president TCU Frog Camps returning to more traditional look this summerlast_img read more

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President orders editor’s release but concerns remain

first_img———– August 24, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 President orders editor’s release but concerns remain 23.08.2012 – Newspaper editor detained, Muslim Brotherhood take control of state media EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Read in Arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders hails yesterday’s decision by President Mohamed Morsi to request Al-Dostour editor Islam Afifi’s release just hours after a court placed him in pre-trial detention. Afifi is due to be tried on 16 September on various charges including publishing false information about President Morsi.The press freedom organization also welcomes an announced presidential decree repealing pre-trial detention for media offences. “Mr. Afifi will be released under this decree,” presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said.Reporters Without Borders nonetheless continues to be very worried about the overall media freedom situation, especially in the wake of the Shura Council’s appointment of new CEOs and editors to state-owned newspapers on 8 August, which has had a big impact on their editorial policies and has led to articles critical of the Muslim Brotherhood being spiked.”Respect for the independence of the state-owned media is one of the fundamental guarantees of freedom of information in a country that aspires to be democratic,” Reporters Without Borders reiterated. News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Read in Arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the restrictions on media freedom resulting from recent decisions by Egypt’s newly-elected authorities.It is also very worried about today’s decision by a criminal court judge in Giza to detain Islam Afifi, the editor of the daily Al-Dostour, until he is tried on charges of publishing lies about the president and endangering Egypt’s interests and stability.Afifi was charged in response to many complaints about the newspaper’s 11 August issue, which had a front-page story warning that the Muslim Brotherhood could turn Egypt into an “emirate.” The complaints also led to a court order under which copies of the issue were seized.”This is a sad day for media freedom in Egypt because, for the first time since the January 2011 revolution, a professional journalist has been jailed for what he has written,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The judicial authorities are trampling on the desire for freedom that the Egyptian people expressed during the 2011 and 2012 protests. We call for Afifi’s immediate release.” Shortly before the judge issued his detention order, Afifi told Agence France-Presse he was the victim of a “political” prosecution.The court ruling comes amid other very disturbing blows to freedom of information in Egypt. Six weeks after taking office, President Mohamed Morsi got the Shura Council – in which the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has 60 per cent of the 174 directly-elected seats – to appoint new CEOs and editors to the state-owned media on 8 August.Several well-known FJP allies were appointed, marking a major break with the past, when the state media were extremely hostile to the then-banned Muslim Brotherhood. The appointments were nonetheless contrary to the wishes expressed by journalists and media that they should be made by an independent body.”The authorities are continuing the Mubarak era’s methods of making appointments and are thereby perpetuating government control of the state-owned media, which must stop,” Reporters Without Borders said, calling for the appointments to be rescinded. “Media independence is one of the guarantees of freedom of information in a country that wants to establish a democratic system.” Reporters Without Borders will closely monitor the drafting of the new constitution, in particular, whether it provides real protection for fundamental freedoms.The appointments have already had an impact on the state-owned newspapers. According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), they have stopped printing critical articles. One, Al-Akhbar, has eliminated its “Free opinion page” and has ceased to publish the writer and novelist Ibrahim Abdulmeged’s weekly columns.Abdulmeged said his sidelining was the result of the new editorial policy introduced immediately after the Shura Council appointed Mohamed Hassan Al-Bana as editor in chief. Al-Bana refused to take any articles from authors critical of the Muslim Brotherhood, he said, adding that editors appointed by appointed by the National Democratic Party during the Mubarak era were “more professional.”According to ANHRI, Al-Akhbar also refused to publish an article entitled “Neither listening nor obedience” by the writer Yusef Al-Qaeed criticising the Egyptian Media Production City siege by members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s youth wing, who threatened journalists critical of the president. And it spiked an article by Aabla Al-Riwaini about the “brotherization” of the print media after the author refused to drop the word “brotherization.”An article by Ghada Nabeel criticizing these publication bans was itself refused publication by the pro-government daily Al-Gomhurria. Nabeel said she was very worried to see such practices become systematic.”The pro-government newspaper bans on articles critical of the Muslim Brotherhood clearly show that their new, Shura Council-controlled editors are putting pressure on journalists who question government policies,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Like the method of their appointments, they cast doubt on the independence of the state media.”Three independent newspapers – Al-Watan, Al-Tahrir and Al-Masry Al-Youm – printed special inserts instead of editorials on 9 August accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of being bent on controlling the media.Tawfiq Okacha, the owner of a TV station called El-Faraeen (The Pharaohs) and presenter of a programme that is very critical of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi, has meanwhile been charged with inciting the president’s assassination and the government’s overthrow. His trial is due to open on 1 September. The TV station has been suspended for a month and could be closed for good. Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution Follow the news on Egypt Organisation to go further RSF_en News Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison February 6, 2021 Find out more News Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff February 1, 2021 Find out more EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News January 22, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Three Pasadena Scientists Propose “Minimal” Plan to Fastrack Mars Landing

first_img First Heatwave Expected Next Week Community News Three scientists at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have proposed a long-term stepwise series of missions to Mars that would first send a manned spaceship to one of Mars’s moons, and then put a two-man crew on the red planet in 2039, 24 years from today.The three JPL scientists – Hoppy Price, John Baker and Firouz Naden – described the approach in an article, A Minimal Architecture for Human Journeys to Mars, published in New Space, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. The article is available on the New Space website until July 29, 2015.Price, Baker and Naden said in the article that their study of a “minimal architecture” concept was motivated by an earlier study by the National Research Council which said with contraints in the annual budget and projected inflation, any manned mission to Mars would not be possible until about the middle of the century.Their plan would make use of elements currently being developed or planned by NASA to stay within the budget.“We refer to this architecture as minimal because it would minimize large new development efforts and rely largely on elements currently being developed or planned by NASA, such as SLS, Orion, a deep space habitat, and a 100-kWe-class SEP tug,” the three authors said in the abstract of the proposal.In the architecture proposed, human missions to Mars would begin with a four-man crewed landing on the moon Phobos in 2033, followed by a short-stay landing on Mars by two astronauts in 2039, and continue with a one-year stay by a crew of four on the planet in 2043.These campaigns will be supported by earlier missions and activities, including continuing research and development in the International Space Station, flight testing of a solar electric propulsion vehicle, and a dress rehearsal and test flight of a Mars landing system on Earth’s moon.The scientists also proposed a stepwise approach because landing a human mission on Mars in one shot would be too costly.“Getting a human crew to Mars orbit and then safely back to Earth poses significant technical challenges for the first mission,” the authors said. “If one adds the challenges of landing a crew on the surface of Mars, conducting surface operations, and then lifting them off the surface all on that first mission, then it becomes an unaffordable first step to the red planet.”Editor-in-Chief G. Scott Hubbard of New Space cited the JPL scientists’ proposal in the publication’s editorial titled “We Can Send Humans to Mars Safely and Affordably,” and said, “With all of these previous technical and fiscal issues addressed, we can again believe that the dream of sending people to Mars is alive.“The next step is to build a broad consensus around the goal and strategy for a long-term humans to Mars program.” Top of the News Subscribe Make a comment Community News More Cool Stuff faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes 3 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website center_img Herbeauty15 things only girls who live life to the maximum understandHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyRobert Irwin Recreates His Father’s Iconic PhotosHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyBohemian Summer: How To Wear The Boho Trend RightHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyDoes Giving Ultimatums In A Relationship Ever Work Out?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIt Works Great If Weight Loss Is What You’re Looking For!HerbeautyHerbeauty Science and Technology Three Pasadena Scientists Propose “Minimal” Plan to Fastrack Mars Landing From STAFF REPORTS Published on Thursday, July 2, 2015 | 11:46 am Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Business News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDSlast_img read more

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Midland father, son dead after single-engine plane crash

first_img Twitter Facebook By admin – June 1, 2018 Midland father, son dead after single-engine plane crash WhatsApp Twitter Local News Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp View of an evidence vault in the Ector County Courthouse jail that was used for the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The jail and offices took up approximately 45,000 square feet. MIDLAND A Midland father and son died Thursday night after a crash at Midland International Airport.John M. Cooper, 39, and son Gavyn Cooper, 16, died around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, after the single-engine aircraft they were in crashed shortly after takeoff, according to a release from the Texas Department of Public Safety.Both were pronounced dead on the scene, the release states.The release details that John Cooper piloted the 2007 Cirrus SR22, which took off and was traveling north before the crash.No others were on board.The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.Gavyn Cooper was a student at Midland High. John Cooper was well into a successful year as a horse trainer after success in the energy business, a release from Ruidoso Downs Race Track in New Mexico stated.One of John Cooper’s trained horses qualified for the $1 million Ruidoso Futurity last Saturday, and Gavyn Cooper was a quarterback on the Midland High football team, the release stated.The two are survived by Chassity Cooper, John’s wife and Gavyn’s mother, and Callie Cooper, John’s daughter and Gavyn’s sister. Pinterest Previous articlePermian Basin, national rig counts near steadyNext articlePBRC opens outdoor therapy center adminlast_img read more

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Hospitals confront water shortages in winter storm aftermath

first_img By Digital AIM Web Support – February 21, 2021 Andrew NellesVehicles drive along Two Rivers Parkway as snow falls in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Pinterest Hospitals confront water shortages in winter storm aftermath Twitter Local NewsUS News Facebook Pinterestcenter_img TAGS  Facebook Twitter Previous articleWashington shuts down California late for 62-51 victoryNext articleSam Burns holds his own on a tough, windy day at Riviera Digital AIM Web Support WhatsApp WhatsApplast_img read more

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Fannie Weighs in on Housing

first_img Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Related Articles The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News The economy is set to grow, but it may not be enough to boost housing, according to the Fannie Mae Economic Strategy and Research Group. The Group’s forecast predicts a 3.1 percent full-year economic growth for November, one-tenth higher than the previous month, but growth has slowed slightly by quarter, down to 3.5 percent from 4.2 percent between Q2 and Q3 2018. Going forward, Fannie Mae expects growth to slow even further through the end of the year.“As we proceed through the fourth quarter, we expect growth to slow further but to remain solid at 2.6 percent,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Trade remains a downside risk to growth as a strong dollar is likely to contribute to a further widening of the trade gap. While consumer spending growth is expected to moderate from the robust second and third quarters, both business fixed investment and residential fixed investment should pick up. We also expect the economy to continue to receive strong support from government spending, at least in the near term. Looking further ahead, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 should continue to boost growth through the first half of 2019 before it begins to fade, ultimately acting as a drag on the economy in the second half of 2020.”Housing is expected to lag behind, even with an improved job market and economy. Fannie Mae notes that the lack of inventory and affordability concerns will remain issues in the housing sector.“The current labor market hot streak hasn’t been enough to boost the housing sector. Both new and trade-up home buyers remain discouraged by rising mortgage rates, elevated home prices, and a shortage of available inventory, particularly in the lower tier of the market,” said Duncan. “Market conditions also present a challenge for builders, as higher interest rates are driving up construction costs and tight labor conditions are accelerating the average hourly earnings growth of residential construction workers. Given weak housing data over the past month, we lowered our 2018 originations forecast by $11 billion to $1.624 trillion and our 2019 forecast by $21 billion to $1.603 trillion. However, we expect that existing and new home sales will stabilize in 2019 as home price appreciation moderates and mortgage rates begin to stabilize.”Find the full report from the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategy and Research Group here.  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Fannie Weighs in on Housing Tagged with: Affordability Doug Duncan Economy Fannie Mae Inventory job market Prices Previous: Caring for Veterans Past Veterans Day Next: Redefining Property Values The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago November 20, 2018 1,532 Views Fannie Weighs in on Housing Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Affordability Doug Duncan Economy Fannie Mae Inventory job market Prices 2018-11-20 Seth Welborn Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

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Joint Ventures Flow Into Unchartered Waters Amidst Covid-19

first_imgColumnsJoint Ventures Flow Into Unchartered Waters Amidst Covid-19 Ishan Zahoor1 July 2020 12:29 AMShare This – xIntroductionAlthough economies across the world are endeavouring to resurrect, businesses especially those operating as joint ventures (JVs) across the spectrum stand at a crucial juncture. With an unprecedented disruption of supply chains, liquidity challenges, employment and commercial contract issues, JVs are now required to swiftly adapt, comprehend and manage unanticipated risks…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIntroductionAlthough economies across the world are endeavouring to resurrect, businesses especially those operating as joint ventures (JVs) across the spectrum stand at a crucial juncture. With an unprecedented disruption of supply chains, liquidity challenges, employment and commercial contract issues, JVs are now required to swiftly adapt, comprehend and manage unanticipated risks in order to maintain and honour the contractual arrangements agreed between the contracting parties to a JV. JVs are in itself a unique strategic partnership with two or more stakeholders coming together to provide the capital, the goods and services, or both, to form a jointly controlled commercial project. This unique structure makes JVs most vulnerable in these unprecedented times arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which if not handled properly are likely to lead to severe issues from loss and financial instability, to decision-making deadlocks and defaults and even voluntary liquidation or insolvency.During my recent interactions with various stakeholders, including those with JVs in the Indo-German front, I have come to realize that the pandemic has yet again brought to light issues that are to a certain degree innate to a JV. Therefore, based on my recent experiences, I have listed out in this article the broad issues faced by JVs during this pandemic and the collaborative and perhaps innovative approach to be adopted to resolve such issues.Liquidity ChallengeThe imminent result of the worldwide economic shutdown has been the drying up of revenue sources with rising operating expenses. Ideally, in such a scenario the first step includes appraising the existing JV agreement for any additional funding contribution events and methods that have been stipulated for the contracting JV partners. If the JV partner has a prescribed commitment in the JV agreement to provide a contribution for additional funding, then one or more JV partners may come forward or at times even refuse to participate in the ‘call for funding’. The consequences of refusal to participate are usually laid down in the JV agreement itself. Where a JV partner is not able to participate in the call for funding, it has to consider implications resulting from the dilution of its stake as the JV partner and the associated impact on future economic and governance rights. A non-contributing JV partner may face issues ranging from loss in the representation of the board, reduced decision-making power for a reserved matter, or reduced roles in the operation of the JV or even at times trigger an event of default.Where JV agreements do not provide any arrangement for such call for funding in exigent times or trigger the requirement of funding from the JV partner only once the external debt raising option has been exhausted, then time and again we have witnessed JV partners coming together and seeking external debt arrangements ranging from the restructuring of repayments, increase in the working capital loan, full draw-down on revolving loan facilities and the reassessment of financial covenants in the existing financing agreements. And expectedly so, raising external debt is stipulated under reserved matter in the JV agreement which requires unanimous approval of the JV partners. Furthermore, raising additional external debt is more likely to cause a change in the existing capital structure of the JV, which may push the JV outside the scope of agreed financing terms and conditions with its creditors. Moreover, coupled with the changes in the leverage ratio, this may allow the lender to seek additional security by way of guarantees or collateral from the JV partner, thereby creating additional liabilities and obligations on each such JV partner.Where JVs are primarily relying on the capital contribution from JV partners with little or no reliance on external debt financing as part of their structure, JV agreements provide for either mandatory or optional additional capital contributions. Ideally, a mandatory additional capital contribution clause in the JV agreement provides the specific amount and the circumstances under which mandatory capital contributions must be made. Though it seems a reasonable way out for a struggling JV, such mandatory capital contributions from a JV partner (more often than not) do not form part of the working capital requirements of the JV i.e. the cash required for running the day-to-day operations. JV partners funding contributions could either come in the form of debt or equity financing, which is usually made on a pro-rata basis as per the JV partner’s interests in the JV, which if contributed proportionately have no impact either on the ownership, economic or any governance rights. Yet again, capital contributions are also subject to reserved matter approvals, which require unanimous approval of the JV partners.Good Governance and Deadlocks As put forth in the preceding paragraphs, JV agreements require a unanimous approval of JV partners on matters that are fundamentally major decisions concerning the JV. These reserved matters may range from decisions relating to annual plans and budgets, material capital investments, disposal of assets, reduction of overall headcount and payroll costs, or early termination rights related to key commercial agreements. Many JVs are struggling in making quick decisions relating to operations of the JV, which is especially required during these difficult times since these decisions are mostly related to the reserved matters that require a unanimous decision from the JV partners. And, in some cases, this may as well trigger the veto rights of the JV partner, hence contributing to the slow and cumbersome decision-making process. Moreover, the executive officers appointed by the JV are required to conduct the business of the JV in accordance with the business plan and a budget, which are approved, based on a certain projection from the previous financial year; however, these unprecedented times have rendered annual plans and budgets unpredictable and impractical.Since a major chunk of decision-making during these times is concerned with reserved matters, including business plan and budget-related decisions, it is often the case that the JV partners may not be able to agree on one of the matter and therefore trigger a deadlock. In such an event, JV agreements do provide for a deadlock mechanism through some sort of resolution process by initiating meditation and at times even arbitration. It is mostly the 50/50 controlled JVs with each JV partner having equal split of control and ownership which are more prone to these decision-making deadlocksThough during a deadlock under normal circumstances, a fall-back provision of ‘status-quo’ in the JV agreement proves to be beneficial, that requires the JV to be run in the normal course of business-as-usual, but with harsh economic realities during this pandemic, the status-quo provision may prove to be counter-productive. JV partners also need to keep a look-out for triggering of a forced buy-out option by a JV partner during an ongoing decision-making stalemate. Instances have occurred where decision-making deadlocks have been engineered, enabling a JV partner to potentially acquire an additional stake in the JV at a time when the valuation of shares and assets have plummeted. As a result, such a JV partner can have more control/stake and in-turn the governance rights in the JV at much less expense. As a JV partner is already deeply engaged in the working of the JV, the process of buy-out can be initiated with little or no due diligence and value discovery process. It could also be the case that the JV agreement lays down the valuation procedure based on historical financial figures that may not be a true representation of the current economic downturn or perhaps may even be unjustifiably punitive. In cases where buy-out does become a genuine option, the JV partners will have to agree upon a valuation of the JV or even engage a third-party appraiser for the same. It is important to note that in an exit scenario, a JV partner must evaluate its obligations relating to any guarantees or security/collateral provided, funding commitments, existing loan arrangements, licenses and other intellectual property related issues which may continue to exist after the exit and its viability in continuing to maintain them.DefaultsAmong the issues cropping-up during this pandemic for a JV, there is also a high risk of inadvertently triggering a default under the JV agreement, especially when a JV partner is part of a group. More often than not, the insolvency definition relating to the JV partner includes a default by a group company of the JV partner, which is unable to service its debt or has entered into negotiations with its creditors. The reviewing of the insolvency definition across the board is of primary importance during this time for a JV partner, which may allow a solvent JV partner at least the time and the option to pull out from JV in advance of any actual insolvency, or to establish control of the JVs interests and assets through initiating a transfer. This may also help in reducing the risk of JVs’ assets’ becoming part of any enquiry of an insolvency administrator, if any. Still, to the great relief of stakeholders across the board, both the German and the Indian government have suspended the initiation of fresh insolvency proceedings to shield companies impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19 for a certain period of time.Though defaults can be triggered by breaches of JV agreements, ranging from failure to make a capital contribution or any advance, an assignment and/or sale for benefit of the creditors or otherwise or any legal action undertaken by the creditor, JV partner is generally entitled to a cure period to remedy the default. During this pandemic; however, such cure period is often inadequate. JV partners have to keep in mind the consequence of a default may vary from triggering cross-defaults, winding-up of the JV to any industry-specific consequence. And, it may also lead to the trigger of a call-option by the holder of such option which allows the non-defaulting JV partner to purchase the shares of the defaulting JV partner at a discount, or in some circumstances a put-option by virtue of which the defaulting JV partner must buy the non-defaulting JV partner’s share at fair market value or higher.ConclusionThese are unprecedented times, which require innovative and strategic steps to resolve a myriad of issues and help re-lay the focus of the JV partners on the long-term gains which truly contribute to the success of a JV. We are seeing a number of our JV partners creating a revised operational structure by establishing working groups and committees to streamline and fast pace the decision-making process, rather than following deadlock resolution mechanisms.Views are personal only(Ishan Zahoor is a commercial lawyer at Pinsent Masons. Email: [email protected]) Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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