Wednesday, December 17, 2014

From the Field: California Advocates Taking Innovative Approaches to Find Funding for Sustainable Affordable Housing Programs



The California Housing Partnership, an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, continues its affordable housing policy work related to reducing energy and transportation costs. The California Housing Partnership has set new policy goals for 2015 as the convening organization of the Green Rental home Energy Efficiency Network (GREEN) and a founding member of the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition,

GREEN is a coalition of developers and community organizations working to increase access to energy efficiency resources for multifamily rental properties in general, because most subsidies are skewed toward homeowners, and to ensure that publicly assisted properties that house the state’s lowest-income households receive an equitable distribution of these resources. At their recent annual summit, GREEN members developed several innovative ideas for their 2015 state policy priorities.

“Emphasizing the intersection of housing costs and energy costs has opened a lot of doors in our advocacy work,” said Megan Kirkeby, Sustainable Housing Policy Manager at the California Housing Partnership. “Legislators who are concerned about poverty see this as a way to ease tension on household budgets, while policy makers more focused on the environment see sustainable housing as another key aspect in the effort to preserve natural resources.”

The California Housing Partnership will continue to work with the California Treasurer’s office to launch the Master-Metered Multifamily Financing Pilot (MMMFP) for on-bill repayment. MMMFP will allow nonprofit owners of up to 5,000 units of rent-restricted low income affordable housing to finance a portion of the cost of energy efficiency retrofits directly from savings on utility bills without a deed of trust or any other form of collateral. The California Housing Partnership and Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future developed this tool for financing retrofits to reduce cost barriers that often prevent nonprofits from undertaking retrofits.

The current drought in California has brought water scarcity issues to the policy forefront. GREEN is responding by establishing a working group to explore state or local incentives for water efficiency in multifamily housing. Among other solutions, the working group will pursue expansion of greywater reuse systems that use water from sinks, showers, and washing machines as a safe irrigation source for yards and plant life.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Factors to consider before you start Construction








Carrying out a construction California project is not something to be taken lightly. The most basic and simple things can make a major difference in determining the kind of results you get from the project and for this reason, it is essential for you to take time and plan carefully in order to get the desired results. As such, the following are some of the things you need to consider before you get started. 

  • Identify the type of Construction Project
Different project have different procedures that need to be followed. It is precisely for this reason that you need to clearly highlight the kind of project you are dealing with in order to set the ground for you to determine other essential requirements. Identifying the project is also important as it makes it easy for you to identify the permits needed in accordance to the state you are in. As such, it is important to ensure you do not overlook this when planning your construction California project. 

  • Materials
You have to make a solid decision on the type of materials to use for your project. In this case, it is recommended that you choose to work with high quality materials regardless of the size of project. This is important for the simple reason it ensures you don’t have to deal with repairs and other such concerns in the recent future. 

  • Decide whether you need a Contractor
Majority of people handling construction California projects choose to work with contractors and for obvious reasons. For starters, contractors understand all the requirements that need to be followed in order to complete the project and their expertise also ensures they work with speed. What is more, they can offer solid advice on how  to go about the entire project. As such, be careful to make an informed decision on whether a contractor is a smart choice for you or not. However, before you hire a contractor, it is essential for you to ensure that they are reputable and they have what it takes to complete the project to perfection. 

  • Budget
Whether you are dealing with a small or large project, it is essential for you to have a solid budget in place. This means calculating the cost of materials, the amount to be paid to contractors and any additional costs that might be incurred. It is essential to note that while working with a contractor, it is considerably easy for you to come up with a solid budget that matches up to the needs of project. This is because of the experience they have in making estimates. 

  • Set a Timeline
For the purpose of ensuring that the project is completed in time, it is essential for you to give yourself a timeline. This is important as it will make it easy for you to decide on how long it will take to complete it and what is more, it makes planning easy. By knowing when the project can be completed, you ensure that you budget carefully as well and also set limits for the contractors. 

With proper planning, it is possible to start construction California project and have it completed in time and successful.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Basic Home Repair Contractor Service Types




When you are looking for home repair contractors, you need to have in mind that there are different experts who work under this umbrella name. This is because it usually takes teamwork to work on the repairs of a house as different professionals are assigned different duties to handle. In most cases there are people who can perform one or more tasks to reduce the number of people on the site. For the repairs to be done in the house, you might not need to call in the entire team as it could be one aspect giving you a headache. Some of the professionals who work with the home repair contractors 
include:

Plumbers

These are professionals who work on the piping system of the house and most of the time also handles heating and cooling systems. If you have a problem that is specific to this for instance leaking pipes or a HAVC system that is faulty you don’t have to call a thousand people to work on it as one or two can sort out the problem without any complications. Just make sure you mention the problem area you are dealing with and the home repair contractors will send the right persons for the job. 

Electricians 

These are experts who handle any electrical work that you may have when dealing with the repairs in the house. They are a very important part of the home repair contractors as they help to ensure that the electrical system that is placed in the house works in the proper way without risks of blowing up the house. If you have any electrical problems in the house, you are advised to put off the main power and call them in immediately so that they can advise on the right direction to follow. Attempting to rectify the position when you don’t have any knowledge on electricity can only make the problem worse. 

Painters

Painting is an art that can transform the look of a room from plain and ugly to gorgeous. Incase your house has chipped or you simply want to change the color of paint you can hire professional painters. Look for an experienced one from home repair contractors who has shown that they can offer high quality work to get the look that you want.  A good painter should have all the tools that are needed to complete the job perfectly. 

Foundation repair contractors

In case you have any problems with the foundation of the house that need to be repaired; foundation repair contractors should be called in to handle the job.  Talk to various professional home repair contractors firms to find out if they have the expert for the job. It is important to find the ones that have experience and can be trusted with the project as this saves you a lot of trouble later on. When you have any repair projects in the house, it is important to remember that you don’t need the entire team of home repair contractors working on it as one or two persons may do the job perfectly.