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Real estate prices on the Rock soar, income gaps widen in oil-rich St. John's

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Offshore oil and major construction projects have sparked an economic boom in St. John's and other parts of Newfoundland and Labrador that has never been seen here before. Housing prices have soared, wages are up, unemployment is down and restaurants and bars are among the country's busiest. Once considered a fiscal basket case, the province leads economic growth forecasts this year as investors flock to the Rock. "It has a lot to do with the oil boom, which is continuing," said Al Stacey, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors.

UN housing envoy condemns Britain's 'bedroom tax'

The United Nations' special rapporteur on housing called Wednesday for Britain to scrap its so-called "bedroom tax" because of its "shocking" impact on the poor and vulnerable, sparking an angry response from the government. Raquel Rolnik said Britain needed to re-assess the human rights impact of the policy, which since April has resulted in welfare payment cuts for some 660,000 public housing tenants who are deemed to have a spare bedroom.

In New York, the rent doesn't have to be ‘too damn high'

By Reihan Salam The house in which I grew up was built in 1913. It was part of a building boom in New York City's outer boroughs fueled by the rising incomes, and rising aspirations, of erstwhile tenement-dwellers. As jam-packed Manhattan neighborhoods like the Lower East Side emptied out, once-bucolic stretches of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were transformed with dizzying speed.

$1 bn stolen in China low-cost housing programme

China's affordable housing programme lost nearly $1 billion to embezzlement last year, the national auditor reported on Friday, underscoring the obstacles to official efforts to fight graft. About 5.8 billion yuan ($950 million) went towards "loan repayment, foreign investment, land requisition and house demolitions, office cash flow and other expenses not related to affordable-housing projects", the National Audit Office said on its website. A total of 360 projects or organisations "embezzled" the funds, it said.

Britain's Osborne plans three billion sterling boost for affordable housing

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will invest an additional 3 billion pounds ($4.62 billion) in affordable housing in 2015, finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday. Rapid house price inflation over the past two decades has made it hard for young people to get on the housing ladder, and a lack of local authority homes has led to long waiting lists.

Britain's Osborne plans three billion sterling boost for affordable housing

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will invest an additional 3 billion pounds ($4.62 billion) in affordable housing in 2015, finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday. Rapid house price inflation over the past two decades has made it hard for young people to get on the housing ladder, and a lack of local authority homes has led to long waiting lists.

Families occupy unfinished homes in Spain

The washbasin in Juana Alonso's bathroom is brand new, but no water comes out of the tap. No bulbs hang from the light fittings. The house is unfinished; no one was meant to be moving in -- but Juana couldn't wait. Along with dozens of neighbours, desperate victims of Spain's recession brought on by the collapse of the housing boom, she has moved into an abandoned building project on the outskirts of her town, Bollullos Par Del Condado, in sweltering southern Andalucia.

U.S. Housing Dept. plans 7-day shut down due to sequester cuts

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday said it plans to shut its doors for a total of seven days between May and September due to budget cuts and will furlough more than 9,000 employees on those days.

Obama administration warns cuts would hurt housing, Sandy relief

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Thursday warned that deep government spending cuts set to go into effect next month would have harsh consequences for housing programs and could threaten Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts in the U.S. Northeast. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan urged lawmakers to agree on a plan to stave off the $85 billion in automatic across-the-board cuts, known as "sequestration," set to begin on March 1.
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