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Category Archives: Housing

United States Congress Creates AI Task Force

“Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced the creation of a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence chaired by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL).  “I am excited to Chair the Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and I thank Chairwoman Waters for her foresight in creating this important Task Force,” Congressman Foster said. “Developments in AI are at the forefront of innovation that is changing the way Americans operate in the marketplace, how we think about identity security, and how we do business with financial institutions. It is affecting everything from how we access our money to how we apply for mortgages and make financial investments. AI has the potential to help break down barriers and make it easier for entrepreneurs, aspiring homeowners, and consumers to interact with banks and utilize financial services, but it is crucial that the application of AI to financial services contributes to an economy that is fair for all Americans. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to better understand how we can utilize AI to maintain the competitiveness of our nation’s financial services sector and how it translates into building a financial system that works for everyone.” “As new technologies emerge and the financial services industry puts those technologies to use, Congress must make sure that responsible innovation is encouraged, and that regulators and the law are adapting to the changing landscape to best protect consumers, investors and small businesses,” said Chairwoman Waters. “The new task force on artificial intelligence, under the leadership of Congressman Foster, will help Congress to stay on top of new developments in this area so that we are well-positioned to make policy.”

The Task Force on Artificial Intelligence will examine issues including:

  •    Applications of machine learning in financial services and regulation
  •    Algorithms and Big Data: emerging risk management perspectives
  •    AI, Digital Identification Technologies and Combatting Fraud
  •    Automation and its impact on jobs in financial services and the overall economy.”

Visualizing Income Inequality in Boston

“The Atlas of Inequality is a project from the Human Dynamics group at the MIT Media Lab and the Department of Mathematics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. It is part of a broader initiative to understand human behavior in our cities and how large-scale problems like transportation, housing, segregation or inequality depend in part… Continue Reading

OECD survey of 21 counties – many people unhappy with public services and benefits

“Many people in OECD countries believe public services and social benefits are inadequate and hard to reach. More than half say they do not receive their fair share of benefits given the taxes they pay, and two-thirds believe others get more than they deserve. Nearly three out of four people say they want their government… Continue Reading

The economic costs and benefits of Airbnb

Economic Policy Institute – No reason for local policymakers to let Airbnb bypass tax or regulatory obligations. “…In our cost-benefit analysis, we find: The economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh the benefits. While the introduction and expansion of Airbnb into U.S. cities and cities around the world carries large potential economic benefits and costs, the… Continue Reading

20 percent of Americans have no emergency savings

Axios: “Nearly 20% of Americans surveyed say they have zero savings in case of emergency, a recent survey by bankrate.com reports. Why it matters: With the jobs outnumbering the jobless, a lowering unemployment rate and wages trickling upward, Americans theoretically should have more money to put away for a rainy day fund. If an economic… Continue Reading

Unpaid Federal Workers Owe $438 Million in Mortgage and Rent Payments This Month

Zillow Research: Federal employees who are not being paid during the shutdown and own their homes make about $249 million in monthly mortgage payments. Those who rent pay about $189 million for housing each month, according to a recent HotPads analysis. About 3,900 mortgage originations are processed each business day for loans backed directly by… Continue Reading

Federal government was bleak workplace for past 2 years and worsened after the shutdown

Washington Post: “Over two years, the Trump administration has dealt blow after blow to government employees — budget cuts, hiring freezes, inept Cabinet secretaries and, for some, open hostility to their fundamental mission. President Trump promised to shake up Washington, and he has. But the country’s 2 million federal workers have mostly soldiered on, believing… Continue Reading

A Lot of Government Information Is Freely Available

GAO Watchblog: “From health and education statistics to budget and spending information, the federal government produces a lot of information, or data. Agencies are making more and more of this data open for everyone to use. Our recent report identified 5 key practices that can help the government’s open data reach a wide range of… Continue Reading

Nearly 75% Of Coastal States Aren’t Prepared For Sea Level Rise

Forbes: “…As climate change progresses, storms will increase in strength,  sea levels will rise more rapidly, U.S. coasts will flood more frequently, and shoreline properties will disappear. Each year, $500 million worth of coastal structures are lost as coastlines disappear. The federal government spends nearly $150 million each year to manage the loss of beaches and coastal real estate. Two-thirds of… Continue Reading

How private equity firms are fueling the housing crisis

New York Magazine – Intelligencer: “Nationwide, single-family homes — white-picketed symbols of the American Dream — are increasingly owned by far-flung investors, with the percentage held by landlords growing from 13 percent nationally to 17 percent between 2008 and 2016, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. These homes are offered to local residents… Continue Reading

CDC data – Large cities still segregated even as nation becoming more diverse

Washington Post: “…Even as the United States becomes increasingly diverse, neighborhood segregation patterns persist in large urban areas, including in the Washington metro region, according to five-year trend data from the Census Bureau. Segregation has remained most entrenched between black and white residents, while segregation between whites and Hispanics and whites and Asians is more… Continue Reading