Also: $310 million in 'stimulus' available for affordable housingConstruction of Sonoma State University's newest campus housing facility, Tuscany Village, continues on schedule with a planned August opening date.
Tuscany Village consists of eight, two-story townhome clusters with a community building in the center of the 12-acre site on the southeast corner of the campus. Each of the 1,500-square-foot townhomes has four bedrooms (two singles and two doubles), four baths, a kitchen with breakfast bar, dining and living rooms. The townhomes are furnished and have radiant floor heating, wireless and direct wire Internet connections, cable television and local phone service.
With the addition of Tuscany's 700 beds, the university will be able to accommodate 3,200 students living on the campus, nearly 40 percent of the student population.
The $46 million project was funded by the sale of California State University Systemwide Revenue Bonds with the rental income paid by students paying for the mortgage and operating costs.
Wright Contracting of Santa Rosa is the general contractor.
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer announced that more than $310 million in federal stimulus money is available to revive 31 "shovel-ready" affordable housing projects throughout the state. It is hoped that this will create more than 5,000 jobs and 2,015 rental units for low-income families and individuals.
"Getting these funds out the door is vital to repairing California's economy," said Mr. Lockyer. "By reviving these projects, we'll create needed affordable housing for working Californians and their families, and we'll help put people back to work."
The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee approved the cash awards in exchange for previously awarded and unused tax-credits. Tax credits can be used for construction or rehabilitation of low-income housing. Developers use the credits to attract investment capital to help finance their projects.
The hotly debated Home Value Code of Conduct, which went into effect May 1 as an attempt by the government to avoid collusion, has left appraisers with fewer jobs and half the pay.
The code says any land appraiser must be licensed in the state in which the property is being appraised. While nobody has a problem with this part of the code, it goes on to say, "No employee, director, officer or agent of the lender, or any other third party acting as joint venture partner, independent contractor, appraisal company, appraisal management company or partner on behalf of the lender, shall influence or attempt to influence the development, reporting, result or review of an appraisal through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, inducement, intimidation, bribery or in any other manner."
The law limits the ability for a loan agent to request an appraisal. It requires that the lender be the one to get the appraisal and to dissuade a loan agent from requesting a specific amount come out of the appraisal.
It also requires appraisers to be contracted through appraiser pools, large groups of appraisers who are randomly chosen for jobs through management companies.
This means when an appraiser is hired for a job, he or she may or may not have any previous knowledge of the area, making comps difficult.