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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           April 02, 2015

 



House approves $503 million boost to current budget
The Texas Tribune
After an 18-hour marathon to sign off on a $210 billion two-year state budget, lawmakers were back in the Texas House on Wednesday afternoon for a bit of unfinished business: plugging holes in the current budget. First, the House gave final approval to its 2016-17 budget — which won't be a done deal until that chamber finds common ground with the Senate. Then, House lawmakers voted unanimously in favor of a measure to fill unexpected gaps in the 2014-15 budget with excess revenue — a standard procedure every two years.
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Texas Housing Hall of Honor call for nominations
TAB
Nominations for the 2015 Texas Housing Hall of Honor are now being accepted. Hosted by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB), the Texas Housing Hall of Honor celebrates men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the Texas housing industry. Inductees are selected annually from the categories of: builders, developers or remodelers; trades professionals and suppliers; government; and, industry-allied professionals.

Eighteen legends grace the walls of the Texas Housing Hall of Honor. The contributions of these men and women have resulted in the long-term advancement of the residential construction industry in Texas. Inductees for the 2015 Texas Housing Hall of Honor will be formally recognized during a ceremony on Nov. 12, 2015 at the Excellence in Leadership Dinner in Austin, Texas. Deadline for nominations is June 1, 2015.

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Senate votes to curb 'local control' in cities' housing policies
The Dallas Morning News
The Republican-controlled Senate showed its willingness to rein in municipalities’ exercise of local control, tentatively approving a bill that would restrict local housing policies. Under the bill, cities and counties could not keep landlords from disqualifying tenants based on sources of income. Such ordinances are typically intended to protect those tenants using federal housing vouchers.
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Efforts to divert border security funding mostly fall flat in budget debate
The Texas Tribune
House Democrats tried — and mostly failed — to divert funds allotted for border security and the Texas Department of Public Safety to other departments during the marathon budget debate. But the rancor over immigration enforcement that many expected didn't materialize after lawmakers agreed to pull down amendments that, if debated, would have aired ideological differences over the contentious issue.
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Legislation aims to boost electricity conservation
The Texas Tribune
In January of 2014, a bone-chilling "polar vortex" swept across much of the country and knocked two North Texas power plants off-line just as residents were turning on their lights and cranking up the heat. The simultaneous surge in electricity demand and drop in supply put Texas on the brink of rolling blackouts. But grid operators leaned on a number of tools to avoid that last-ditch option.
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Thousands of new homes planned south of Houston
Houston Chronicle
A developer has announced plans for a master-planned community with more than 5,500 homes in Manvel and Iowa Colony, the latest example of residential construction moving beyond Houston's city limits. The new project, Meridiana, will be built on 2,700 acres off Texas 288, just south of Highway 6. The developer, Rise Communities, is also behind the Cane Island community in Katy.
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New North Texas communities woo residents with neighborhood farms, open space
The Dallas Morning News
Recently, at the Light Farms residential development in Collin County, more than 200 people turned out for a farmers market. Up in Denton County, residents have rented so many spaces in the Harvest development's community garden that builders are adding more space for vegetable plots. There's a community garden in the works at Light Farms in Celina, too. A generation ago, most big residential developments were centered on a country club. But these days, residents are more likely to use walking trails, neighborhood parks and community farms than golf courses, builders say.
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Japanese builder buys huge North Texas residential community
The Dallas Morning News
A Japanese home builder and developer has purchased one of the largest new residential communities in North Texas. A subsidiary of Sekisui House Ltd. acquired the 1,200-acre Canyon Falls development on the west side of Flower Mound. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Started in 2013, Canyon Falls is planned for about 1,750 single-family homes, apartments, shopping and commercial space.
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House prices continue to rise in Austin
KVUE-TV
The housing market in Austin remained strong in February, with median home prices rising more than 4 percent in February and new listings up nearly 10 percent over the same period. According to Redfin, the median sale price was up 4.2 percent between January and February, and up 8.7 percent from February 2014.
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Fast-growing Canadian company scoops up Austin home builder
Austin Business Journal
Brookfield Residential Properties, a fast-growing Canadian home builder, is widening its Austin footprint with the acquisition of Grand Haven Homes, a local home builder. The Builder website reports that Grand Haven oversees about 15 communities with homes priced from the mid-$200s to the mid-$600s. Brookfield has been making acquisitions around the U.S. in the past few years, the report said.
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Where retirees want to live now
U.S. News & World Report
According to a recent study sponsored by Merrill Lynch, by age 61, most people finally feel free to live where they want to live, rather than live where they have to live because they need to commute to work or have family obligations. And it's no surprise where people want to live: the Sunbelt.
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Priced out: New housing froth discourages buyers
CNBC
After easing throughout much of 2014, home prices across the U.S. are accelerating again. While several local housing markets are still nowhere near as expensive as they were during the housing boom, others are approaching so-called "froth" yet again. Prices in the nation's top 20 housing markets were 4.6 percent higher in January than in January 2014, according to the latest reading from S&P/Case Shiller. That is a bigger annual gain than the markets saw in December, when price gains began to accelerate again.
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3 Texas sites apply to host presidential debate
The Texas Tribune
Three locations in Texas have applied to host a presidential or vice presidential debate in 2016, organizers announced. Under consideration are the city of McAllen, Houston Community College and Texas A&M University. They are among 16 sites across the country vying for the opportunity to hold a debate during the general election.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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