Tag Archives: ownership

Trump budget threatens dream of buying, owning a home

The NeighborWorks Alliance of Wisconsin Chair Noel Halvorsen issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s budget proposal which would eliminate the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, commonly referred to as NeighborWorks America:

The proposal by the White House will have a detrimental impact on people in every part of Wisconsin when it comes to achieving and maintaining homeownership.

Communities throughout Wisconsin have experienced positive economic impact from the housing and community development activities provided by the NeighborWorks Alliance of Wisconsin, which is made up of six groups all chartered by NeighborWorks America.

In our most recent Economic Impact Study, it showed that in 2014 the impact of homeownership services and development activities from the NeighborWorks Alliance of Wisconsin sustained 495 jobs and generated more than $69.17 million in economic activity.

These findings demonstrate the value of NeighborWorks organizations in supporting homeownership and community development.

Losing NeighborWorks America would be a tremendous setback for communities across Wisconsin.

Although the agency’s budget is small, less than three thousandths of a percent of the federal budget, the 1.4 million that came to Wisconsin in 2016 was leveraged into tens of millions of direct investment in homes and neighborhoods and generated $13.8 million in real estate and income tax revenue at all levels of government.

Unfortunately, the White House proposal goes even further and includes elimination of:

• the HOME program.



• Funding for Habitat, Enterprise, LISC, and more.

Essentially, the budget proposal empties the federal toolbox for underserved market housing investment  and community revitalization.

That would mean fewer Wisconsin families buying homes and less renovation of blighted houses in at-risk neighborhoods.

The NeighborWorks Alliance of Wisconsin calls on Congress to reject the president’s proposal and craft a budget that maintains NeighborWorks America and other critical agencies and programs that help families achieve and maintain the American Dream and help all of us build stronger communities.

Florida sees ‘bad gun bills on steroids’ from NRA-backed lawmakers

Florida Republicans say there are more determined than ever to pass bills expanding gun ownership and possession in the wake of the deadly Pulse nightclub and Fort Lauderdale airport shootings.

They say gun owners should be allowed to take their weapons to airports, government meetings and state universities.

“Anytime you create a gun-free zone, you essentially are creating a safe haven for mass shooters and the criminal element and you put law-abiding people at a disadvantage,” said Marion Hammer, who has lobbied for the National Rifle Association for more than 42 years.

There are about two dozen gun-related bills filed ahead of the 60-day legislative session and the vast majority would expand where guns can be carried, as one opponent said, “pretty much everywhere.”

“If it’s a reaction to the Pulse shooting and Fort Lauderdale, it’s a very odd reaction,” said Patti Brigham, a vice president at the League of Women Voters of Florida and co-chair of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s like bad gun bills on steroids.”

While Democrats have responded to the mass shootings by proposing more restrictions, including a ban on assault-style rifles and large capacity ammunition clips, they have virtually no chance of passing while Republicans dominate both legislative chambers.

Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando, whose bill would ban assault-like rifles, said expanding areas where guns can be carried isn’t the right approach. “Their solution is, ‘We want guns everywhere, all the time, by every person,’ which is not going to address these problems. It’s going to make them worse,” he said.

Republican Rep. Jake Raburn of Valrico said many of this year’s Republican proposals were easily approved in the House last year and will likely pass the chamber again this year. And he sees a better chance that the Senate will pass gun-right expansions, especially since the chamber’s top advocate, Sen. Greg Steube, chairs the Judiciary Committee — the first stop for gun legislation.

Raburn is sponsoring the bill to allow guns at airports, an issue he proposed before the Fort Lauderdale shooting. He said hypothetical arguments against the idea just don’t hold weight, such as police not knowing which person holding a gun is an active shooter and which is a permit holder defending himself.

“Florida is one of only six states that doesn’t already allow that,” he said. “We haven’t seen any of these ‘what if?’ scenarios of law abiding permit holders being a problem in airports.”

The following is a look at gun-related legislation that has been filed by Republicans and Democrats

Bills filed by Republicans would:

_ Allow licensed handgun owners to openly carry their weapons.

_ Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry a gun in non-secure areas of airports.

_ Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at any legislative meeting or committee meeting.

_ Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns on state university campuses.

_ Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at county and municipal government meetings.

_ Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at career centers.

_ Allow members of the state Cabinet who have concealed weapons permits to carry guns anywhere not prohibited by federal law. Reduce the penalty the violating the current open carry ban from a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine to a non-criminal civil fine of $25.

_ Holds business owners who ban guns from their property liable for injuries suffered by a concealed weapon permit holder who is attacked

_ Allows concealed weapons permit holders to bring guns to courthouses and temporarily surrender them to security. The courts must keep the weapons in locked storage space.

_ Expand the “stand your ground” to give more protection to people using the self-defense claim by placing the burden of proof on prosecutors to prove people charged with assaulting or killing someone else wasn’t acting in self-defense.

_ Place on the November ballot a measure asking voters to exempt law enforcement officers from the 72-hour waiting period to buy personal handguns.

Bills filed by Democrats would:

_ Ban semi-automatic assault-type rifles like AR-15s and AK-47 and detachable ammunition magazines that hold more than 7 rounds.

_ Bans guns at performance arts centers and theaters.

_ Removes exceptions to a law requiring guns in homes occupied by minors be stored in locked boxes or with trigger locks.

_ Increases the penalties for displaying concealed weapons in a threatening manner on or near school properties or activities from a third degree felony to a second degree felony. Increases penalties for people who fail to store a gun in a way to prevent access by minors.


Georgia town passes law requiring gun ownership

Backers of a newly adopted ordinance requiring gun ownership in a small U.S. town acknowledge they were largely seeking to make a point about the right to bear arms in the wake of a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 children and educators dead.

While lawmakers in generally more liberal states with large urban centers like New York and California have moved to tighten gun control laws in the wake of the massacre, more conservative, rural areas in the American heartland have been going in the opposite direction, arguing that guns keep people safer.

The ordinance in the city of Nelson, Ga. – population 1,300 – was approved on April 1 and goes into effect next week. However, it contains no penalties and exempts anyone who objects, convicted felons and those with certain mental and physical disabilities.

Fears of a government crackdown on gun sales have prompted a few communities around the United States to “require” or recommend their residents arm themselves, reflecting a growing divide in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

Council members in Nelson, a small city located 50 miles north of Atlanta, voted unanimously to approve the Family Protection Ordinance. The measure requires every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to “provide for the emergency management of the city” and to “provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.”

City Councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the measure, said he knows the ordinance won’t be enforced but he still believes it will make the town safer.

“I likened it to a security sign that people put up in their front yards. Some people have security systems, some people don’t, but they put those signs up,” he said. “I really felt like this ordinance was a security sign for our city.”

Nelson resident Lamar Kellett – one of two people who opposed the ordinance during a public comment period – said it dilutes the city’s laws to pass measures that aren’t intended to be enforced.

Kellett also said the ordinance will have no effect, that it won’t encourage people like him who don’t want a gun to go out and buy one.

Police Chief Heath Mitchell noted that the city doesn’t have police officers who work 24 hours a day and is far from the two sheriff’s offices that might send deputies in case of trouble, so response times to emergency calls can be long. Having a gun would help residents take their protection into their own hands, he said.

But the chief _ the town’s sole police officer – acknowledged the crime rate is very low. He mostly sees minor property thefts and a burglary every few months. The most recent homicide was more than five years ago, he said.

The ordinance is modeled after a similar one adopted in 1982 by Kennesaw, an Atlanta suburb. City officials there worried at the time that growth in Atlanta might bring crime to the community, which now has about 30,000 residents. Kennesaw police have acknowledged that their ordinance is difficult to enforce, and they haven’t made any attempt to do so.