The Tustin City Council has unanimously approved an agreement to construct a new transitional housing facility for homeless families to accommodate the city’s growing homeless population.
Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at email@example.com.
The seven-unit, short-term housing development dubbed the “House of Ruth” by Family Promise of Orange County, a nonprofit organization that aids the homeless, will be located at 1941 El Camino Real, a city-owned vacant property near Interstate 5 by other apartment buildings and houses.
Transitional housing provides temporary homes for specific homeless populations, such as families and working individuals, who are unable to afford long-term housing. The goal is to transition these residents into permanent housing.
The development agreement, approved in February, between Tustin and Family Promise will assist the growing homeless population and fulfill the city’s goal of developing “strong community and regional relationships,” states a City Council agenda report.
Jerry Craig, deputy director of business services and housing, introduced the Family Promise development, including its fundraising plans and partners, such as HomeAid Orange County, at the Feb. 18 meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Letitia Clark said it takes several partners to address homelessness and she appreciates the partnerships forged in Tustin.
The city will loan the property worth $320,000 to Family Promise, as long as the organization demonstrates “their financial capacity to both construct and operate the House of Ruth,” the staff report said.
The organization was “given a forgivable loan, so [Family Promise] will not be paying anything for the land,” said Family Promise Executive Director Cyndee Albertson. “It would take us possibly another six to ten months to raise the additional funds to buy [it].”
The Orange County homeless population has grown from about 4,800 in 2017 to nearly 7,000 people in 2019, according to its 2019 Point in Time count. Tustin had 359 homeless people in 2019, with 95 of them listed as unsheltered.
The city entered into a contract with Family Promise in November 2018 to negotiate the use of city property to develop the House of Ruth, the city staff report said. The units would provide three to six-month housing and assistance for homeless families, with those from Tustin given priority housing.
Tustin has also helped provide homeless assistance through other programs in the past, teaming up with the Orange County Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity.
Albertson stated that the House of Ruth will provide various services such as tutoring, mental health counseling, credit repair, career development, and more. It will also provide a community resource center with laundry units, computers, and printers.
“I’m excited to expand our transitional services, but I’m almost more excited to have people refer families [in need] to our resource center,” Albertson said. “There is no other service like this in Orange County right now.”
Katherine Futerer, a resident who lives a few blocks away from the development, said she is comfortable with the idea of a transitional housing facility.
“If homeless families are getting shelter and what they need, and since it’s not permanent housing, it wouldn’t be a bad thing at all,” Futerer said. “It’s helping the community with homelessness issues.”
Several other residents near the development declined requests for comment.
Edward Leon, an 18-year-old barista at a Starbucks near the planned development, supports the new facility and Tustin’s efforts with the homeless.
“Growing up in this community, I feel like in this area you always see those in need…Tustin itself is a community that always lends a helping hand,” Leon said.
California’s vague new financial regulation law – Whittier Daily News
Assembly Bill 1864 didn’t get much media or public attention as it zipped through both houses of the Legislature on the last day of the 2020 session.
Superficially, it appeared merely to reconfigure the state’s financial regulatory agencies into a new entity called the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
However, those in California’s vast financial industry were paying lots of attention because the bill creates an entirely new regulatory regime with broad powers, including fines of up to $1 million a day, to police financial players that hitherto have had little oversight.
The official rationale for the legislation is that President Donald Trump’s administration neutered the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, so the state must step in with an equivalent to guard against predatory financial practices that harm consumers.
The new California Consumer Financial Protection Law gives the reconstituted agency authority to go after “abusive practices” whose definition in the law is fairly vague. Thus, the agency itself will define the term as it also decides which businesses will face its scrutiny.
It appears that the new law will affect firms involved in debt settlement, credit repair, check cashing, rent-to-own contracts, payday lending, student loan servicing and financing for retail sales. However, its primary target seems to be financial services offered by non-banks, particularly what are called “fintech companies” that offer bank-like services via the Internet without maintaining physical offices.
Fintechs, many of them based in the San Francisco Bay Area, have blossomed in recent years as part of the digital economy, competing with traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Their disruptive nature is not unlike the challenge that technology-based ride services such as Uber and Lyft pose to taxicabs and buses.
Late-blooming changes in AB 1864 exempted traditional financial firms that are already regulated, such as banks and credit unions, from the new consumer protection law, leading some analysts to conclude that its unstated aim is to help them stave off competition from new kids on the financial block.
The vagueness of the new law was encapsulated in what Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a signing ceremony. The new law and the new department, he said, will “create conditions for innovation to flourish in a way where we can steward that and we can just work against its excesses. So we support risk-taking, not recklessness.”
Newsom also signed two other financial protection measures, one that requires debt collectors to be licensed beginning in 2022 and the other creating a Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights.
Although the new state law is said to mirror the Dodd-Frank law, it contains at least one significant difference. When federal regulators levy fines for what they consider to be bad conduct, the money goes into the federal treasury. When state regulators impose their fines of up to $1 million a day, the money will be retained by the new agency to finance more activity.
Will that give the new agency a financial incentive to skip over minor consumer issues and go after big companies? It’s a question that only time will answer.
Significantly too, the new investigative and regulatory mechanism contained in AB 1964 specifically does not usurp the authority of the attorney general to also target companies under the state’s equally vague “unfair competition” law.
From its inception a decade ago, Dodd-Frank has attracted criticism from business executives for regulatory overkill. Will California’s new version be less controversial? We won’t know until the new agency puts some definitional meat on its bones.
CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary
397 people register to vote on deadline day at Duval Supervisor of Elections – 104.5 WOKV
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Monday, Oct. 5 at midnight, is the deadline to register to vote in Duval County.
But the Supervisor of Elections helped hundreds of people get registered today.
Robert Phillips, the chief elections officer of the Duval Supervisor of Elections, told Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole that 397 people came down to the Supervisor of Elections in downtown Jacksonville to get registered.
Supervisor of Elections staff assembled tents outside to allow people to register to vote without having to go through the COVID-19 prescreening necessary to enter the building.
“Again, 2020 has thrown us some challenges,” Phillips said.
There was even a little rain thrown into the mix today, but it didn’t stop folks from coming out.
“Out here, we have a lot of activity. We’ve been going since first thing this morning,” Phillips told Action News Jax.
There were people of all ages from all walks of life — some even registered for the very first time like Lemark Jamison.
Monday, Oct. 5, is a day he will always remember.
“It feels awesome, you know? It feels awesome,” Jamison told Cole.
Today, Jamison had the opportunity to register to vote for the first time in Florida.
“I’ve worked for voter registration companies. I’ve done advocating for Amendment 4, but I was never able to vote because of my prior background. But now I can,” Jamison said.
Jamison, the owner of a tax and credit repair business, told Cole his prior felony conviction held him back in the past.
In November 2018, more than 60% of Floridians voted to restore voting rights to more than 1 million people who completed their sentences.
But several months later, legislation was passed that required them to pay all financial penalties, which means thousands lost the right as quickly as they gained it.
“I’ve been contributing to society. I’ve been able to have several businesses. And I pay taxes. But I haven’t been able to, when it comes to voting, whether in a local level or any type of legislature — I haven’t been able to vote,” Jamison said.
The 35-year-old told Cole even though his wife helped him fill out his voter registration form — to which he exclaimed, “Thank God for wives, right?” — he told Cole it was pretty easy.
Now, he has this advice to share with other people who may be in his shoes:
“Get out and vote. Take advantage of this opportunity, regardless of who you plan on voting for.”
Here’s a breakdown from the Supervisor of Elections of how the 397 people registered today:
-56% registered as Democrats.
-21% registered as Republicans.
-22% registered as nonparty affiliates.
Credit360 Now Providing Credit Repair Services in Orlando
One of the nation’s finest in personal and business credit solutions has expanded its services in Florida.
“We are very excited to now offer our life-changing services in Orlando,” said Andre Coakley, Founder & CEO of Credit360, a company with an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist individuals and businesses with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals. “We are here to help you achieve your optimal credit profile by making the credit repair process convenient, individualized, and effective.”
Credit360’s specialized credit repair processes, credit expertise, and guaranteed customer service, company representatives say, make it the best in the industry.
Coakley explained that Credit360 has had the opportunity to help thousands of Americans correct their credit reports. In fact, Credit360, Coakley stressed, is a company that puts its money where its mouth is and only charges a fee when items are deleted, removed, or repaired from individuals’ credit reports.
“With our services, you will no longer have to use other expensive credit repair companies that charge monthly and don’t even produce results,” Coakley promised, before adding, “We are so confident in our advanced disputing tactics that we will allow you to pay for your deletions after you actually see our results and we even give you a 100 percent money-back guarantee to back it up just so you can relax.”
Coakley went on to reiterate that Credit360 is an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist customers with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.
“With our services, most of our clients see deletions within the first 45 days of enrollment and usually see an average increase of 93 points throughout their program cycle,” Coakley said.
About Credit 360
Credit360 was established to assist individuals in restoring their personal credit and in offering a complete line of business credit solutions. Credit360 is a financial services firm specializing in credit restoration and business consulting services.
10664 SW 186th Street
Miami, FL 33157
Source: Credit360 Credit Repair
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