Interesting Housing News Links (May 06, 2009)

* In Bank Demolition Echoes of the Great Depression (Emily Friedlander, Wall Street Journal)

In an image that echoes scenes of the Great Depression, a Texas bank has just finished up demolishing 16 new and partially built houses it acquired in Southern California through foreclosure. The bank determined that wrecking the homes was more cost-effective than finishing and selling them.

* Report: Too many recyclables in city’s dump (Brian Nearing, Times Union)

Too much paper that ought to be recycled is winding up in the city’s Rapp Road dump, according to a consultant’s report.

* Paying flooding costs with no flood insurance (Brandi Hodges, KAIT)

With more rain on the way folks are wasting no time ripping out what the floods destroyed. For some, cleaning up could clean out their bank accounts. Some people who live along the flooded areas of Trumann have flood insurance but others do not. Insurance is available but it does come at a cost.

* Who really killed bankruptcy reform? (Emily.Flitter, American Banker)

The banking industry expressed grave fears over the mortgage cramdown legislation that failed in a Senate vote last week , but a post-mortem on the scene makes that anxiety seem a little overhyped. With so many different groups vying to kill the legislation, the vote last week was never a nail-biter.

* Police: New system will cut down on false alarms (Lee Mc Guire, KHOU)

Every day, Houston police respond to nearly 300 burglar and panic alarms. Each of those alarms takes two officers nearly an hour to deal with, and almost every one of those calls is false.

* Empty neighborhoods fill Rust Belt (Dan Sewell, The Washington Examiner)

Painted murals spruce up a boarded-up building on Race St. in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday, April 9, 2009. The neighborhood, which took its name from early German immigrants, is highlighted by its 19th century Italianate architecture. Now, roughly two of every three homes there are vacant or used by squatters in some streches. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

* New homeowner finds homicide victim on her porch (Mark Bowes, Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Serena Hamilton and her boyfriend thought they had found the perfect fixer-upper after moving to Richmond from Pennsylvania in December.

* Bankers Worry: Worst Is Yet To Come (David Wessel, Wall Street Journal)

New loans may be profitable, given how cheaply banks can borrow today. But many banks are still worrying about whether they ll get paid back on old loans.

* Town cracks down on tax delinquents (Bettina Thiel, Lewisboro Ledger)

The town is moving to pressure tax delinquents into paying up their tax debt in an effort to raise revenue.

* Shock jock banned from UK to sue Home Secretary (Tom Whitehead., Telegraph)

American DJ Michael Savage made the threat as it emerged the majority of people named and shamed on a new Home Office exclusion list has never applied to come to the UK in the first place.


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