CFPB Board Members Fired: NAWRB Advocacy Even More Crucial

Yesterday, CFPB’s three advisory boards: the Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and the Credit Union Advisory Council were disbanded. All boards directly reported to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau established in the wake of the last decade’s financial meltdown. The fired members were advised they could not reapply for seats when an apparent new board forms.

The board, comprised of twenty-five members who according to The Washington Post, are made up of top consumer advocates, academics, and industry executives, have been critical of acting director Mick Mulvaney’s leadership, arguing that he is focused more on the industry than on protecting the American consumer. His critics also fear under his command the Bureau has focused more on weakening the consumer protection aspects of its work.

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Goodbye Sweet Spade: Remembering the Influential Style of Kate Spade

Today we are saddened to find out that the influential designer Kate Spade was found dead. For someone known for an elegance associated with brightness and a certain smart yet playful style- it’s painful to think of such a voice being extinguished.

Kansas City, Missouri native Spade, who recently legally changed her name to Kate Valentine was an answer to an unspoken sartorial prayer: smart, put-together clothing with a quirky flair. Distinguished while not shying away from femininity, Kate helped women in the 1990s and early 2000s realize that to be taken seriously in the workplace doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have massive shoulder pads, dress like a man, or wear uncomfortable heels.

It really started with a handbag. The quest for an attractive yet practical tote, often a woman’s rolling office, medicine cabinet, and make-up bag, was the driving force behind the start of her eponymous brand.

She grew Kate Spade into what we would call today a fully fledged lifestyle brand: including a home and jewellery line.  In the process she became much more than a designer: she became a woman to admire for her unique blend of tastemaking and business acumen. Not unlike a Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch or Donna Karan.

As recently as 2015 she was named amongst Creative People in Business by Fast Company and inducted into the University of Missouri-Kansas City Hall of Entrepreneur Hall of Fame this past year.

She was someone to look up to and will be dearly missed. Our condolences go out to her family and everyone whose lives she touched.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)s Could Help Women Meet Housing Goals

California has the highest poverty rate in the nation and we have an extreme shortage of affordable hosing. Single mothers are at a disadvantage of chosing to work an additional job to be able to afford housing for her family and still provide adequate supervision.

ADUs are small dwelling units on an existing residential property. Recent state policies, passed in 2016, have made it easier for homeowners in L.A. County to construct these additional dwelling units whether they are detached from the home or attached with a separate entrance, or even a garage conversion.

The advantages to having an ADU on your property are numerous: whether for extra rental income, a home office, or as a guest house. If done properly (up to code, enhancing rather than detracting from the aesthetic of your property), ADUs can add value to not only your residence but your life: turning unused space into a value generator.

However, the impact of building an ADU can have for an existing woman homeowner or single mother renter could be even more profound.

For a Home-Based Business

As highlighted in our 2018 Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report, Volume I that focuses on The State of Women’s Homeownership, aside from viewing a home as a secure sanctuary, women seek homeownership as a stable location to build a home-based business. An ADU provides extra space to grow that business, a safe-space to meet clients without having them directly enter into your living space and a location close enough to be super-convenient but separate enough to provide a distraction-free workspace.

An Additional Revenue Stream

There are more working mothers heading up families with children, or single-working mothers as well as women taking care of aging parents. An ADU can provide an additional revenue stream, allowing a woman to better care for children and aging adults without relying on a second income. On a side note, the homeowner could play it forward to help provide a more homebased living arrangement to single mothers. Who knows, maybe their kids would be a perfect playdate or their mother create some mommy time! There is social impact that also offsets financial impact.

Converting a Property to Rent-Controlled Status  

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved their own new rules and several cities are in the process or already have their own specifc rules for dwellings. Adding an ADU might trigger rent stabilization because it is no longer considered a single-family residence, even if you are living in the same residence.

Before building an ADU, make sure to check any guidelines or restrictions put out by your city and county. Know your options, do your homework and this includes not only detached and attached additions, but pre-fab units as well.

SBA Announces Joint Initiative with United Technologies Corporation

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a statement by Administrator Linda McMahon about their new strategic joint initiative with United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a Connecticut-based company. UTC announced that it plans to hire 35,000 new employees, invest $15 billion in the United States over the next five years, and spend $75 billion for its U.S. suppliers, with $19 billion going to small businesses.

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Financial Services Committee Confirms Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner

Chairman Jeb Hensarling of the House Financial Services Committee released an official statement confirming the dual appointment of Brian Montgomery as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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Federal Reserve Releases 2017 Small Business Credit Survey

The Federal Reserve recently released their 2017 Small Business Credit Survey, a national collaboration among the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, providing prudential information on small businesses’ performance, debt and credit experiences from the third and fourth quarter of last year. Findings show an increase in reported revenue growth and profitability, as well as financial difficulties in some firm segments.

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House Passes Dodd-Frank Act Deregulation Reform Bill

The Financial Services Committee announced today that the House of Representatives has passed the ‘Economic Growth Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” by a 258-159 vote. The new bill is presented as a “pro-growth financial regulatory reform package,” which features a significant number of rollbacks of Dodd-Frank Act regulations since the financial crisis almost a decade ago.

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She is Superpower: Women’s Pathways to Success Event

Join NAWRB and circles of influencers for half-day event in Dallas, Texas at Service First Mortgage on Thursday, May 24th, from 12 PM to 4 PM, CST. Attendees will explore unique opportunities for personal, professional, and economic growth, and discover strategies to create and increase balance, wealth, health, confidence, and homeownership.

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