The Atlantic City Housing Authority spent nearly a half-million dollars on two administrative consultants over the past year and continued to keep them on the payroll through the summer despite the addition of new permanent staff in the same roles.
Quintons Commercial Property Agents is reporting a dwindling supply of property with a waiting list of purchasers and tenants keen to take space.
For those of you that have space available, do not hesitate to contact Quintons to see if it can assist you in letting or selling your space.
New instructions include the following:
34a High Street, Hungerford. Quintons is instructed to market a retail/office space available to let. The space totals 756 sq ft, rent £12,500 per annum.
8 High Street, Hungerford. Quintons is instructed to market a town centre retail unit which totals 672 sq ft.
1-3 Mansion House Street, Newbury. A ground floor retail space available as a whole or two units. Sizes from 386 sq ft to 1,980 sq ft. The space includes a large terrace to the Kennet and Avon Canal.
River Street, Pewsey. Quintons is instructed to market for sale a retail unit that has a tenant insitu paying a rent of £7,500 per annum. The guide price is £85,000. This represents a much better return that buying a residential unit
78 Bartholomew Street, Newbury. Quintons is instructed to offer to let 1,164 sq ft of second floor office space. The property is close to Newbury railway station and includes three parking
spaces so ideal as a satellite office.
Thatcham Garden Centre, Thatcham. Quintons is instructed to offer too let a retail unit of 1,238 sq ft. The property is situated on a busy garden centre with a range of different offerings. There is ample free parking for customers.
Thatcham Business Village, Thatcham. Quintons is marketing a range of office suites from 800 to 5,000 sq ft.
The space would suit all occupiers and includes ample parking.
Evingar Road, Whitchurch. Quintons is instructed to market to let a 16,000 sq ft warehouse/workshop space which is arranged over two floors. The property includes ample parking and yard space.
For full details or further information on any of the commercial properties available for sale or to let please look at the website www.quintons.co.uk or contact Shane Prater on (01635) 551441.
SVN Commercial Advisory Group has announced the recent completion of a $1.65 million transaction involving prime undeveloped acreage at the corner of 18th Street, N.E., and Santa Barbara Boulevard in Cape Coral.
Advisor Mary O’Malley, CCIM, represented the property seller, Event Horizon Realty in Palm Beach, Fla. This commercial parcel comprising 1.99 acres is earmarked for the development of a three-story self-storage facility, making it a valuable asset.
Collaborating with O’Malley on the transaction were Nick Malagisi, SIOR, of SVN Real Estate Advisors, and Hans Hardisty, CCIM, of SVN Hardisty Commercial. Their combined expertise was pivotal in the execution of this deal.
The new owner of the property is Shadowbrook Development, a real estate development and acquisition company headquartered in Longwood, Fla. Shadowbrook Development recognized the potential of this site, which is situated adjacent to a thriving residential area, ensuring a steady stream of potential customers for future commercial developments.
This land deal is another sign of the self-storage industry’s strength in the Sunshine State, with its growing population, inflow of seasonal residents and favorable regulatory policies.
A full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm, SVN Commercial Advisory Group works with large corporations, middle market businesses and individual entrepreneurial investors. The group provides advisory services for the sale, leasing and management of commercial properties. Advisors at SVN Commercial Advisory Group have deep experience working with many types of investment real estate. They serve the greater areas of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. For more information on the SVN Commercial Advisory Group, visit suncoastsvn.com.
A handful of Long Island communities saw median home prices rise by 10% or more in the first half of 2023, while several others saw prices drop by that big a margin, according to community-level data shared with Newsday by appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
But most areas saw prices change relatively little after the pandemic sent home values soaring. Those towns maintained high home prices even as mortgage rates have risen to their highest levels in 20 years, making housing less affordable.
In the first half of 2023, the median home price increased or stayed flat in about half of 188 Long Island communities and declined in the other half, according to Newsday’s analysis.
Overall, the median price of a home on Long Island was $589,000 in the first half, down 0.2% from last year, while the number of sales that closed fell 28.3% compared with the January-to-June period in 2022. Miller Samuel excludes the Hamptons and North Fork in its calculations for the rest of Long Island.
Most of the movements within towns were small. In nearly three-quarters of communities that had at least 50 sales, the median price among deals that closed from January to June increased or decreased by no more than 5% compared to the first half of 2022.
But some of those places experienced more significant changes. Rockville Centre, Lake Grove and Manorville each saw the median home price increase by at least 10% year over year, while Great Neck, West Islip and Dix Hills saw median prices fall by 10% or more. Newsday spoke with a dozen real estate agents in those areas to examine factors that might have affected price changes.
For Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, the measure that explains the overall housing market best is the number of homes for sale. There are about 5,000 houses on the market across Long Island. For years, 15,000 to 20,000 homes was typical. The peak during the housing crisis in 2008 was about 32,000, according to data from OneKey MLS.
“Listing inventory is the metric of this current housing market,” Miller said. “It’s the one to focus on because it’s driving everything else. It’s keeping prices elevated and it’s restraining sales.”
Prices began to heat up again this summer. In August, the median price hit a record $730,000 in Nassau County and an all-time high $590,000 in Suffolk County, according to OneKey MLS. Meanwhile, the number of sales recorded in August was 19% lower than it had been during that month in 2022.
“Long Island is not an outlier,” Miller said. “It’s essentially performing in the way that most suburban markets are performing in the U.S., which is higher prices generally and a severe decline in sales activity.”
Here’s a look at what happened in six Long Island communities where home prices climbed or fell at least 10%:
Median price first half of 2023: $785,000
Median price first half of 2022: $663,500
Rockville Centre recorded the largest increase in median price in the first half among all Long Island communities that recorded at least 50 sales between January and June.
Real estate agents in the area said the village’s mix of a strong school district, a roughly 40-minute train ride into Manhattan and a downtown area lined with bars and restaurants attract homebuyers to the area.
“What makes a house in Rockville Centre attractive to buy at a higher price point — and easier to sell at a higher price point — a good part of it is the school district,” said Stephanie Feiner, an agent at Keller Williams Points North, who recently worked with a buyer who bought a $1.2 million home in the village. “It’s someplace where you can still work in the city but not feel like you have to leave two hours ahead of time to do it.”
Part of the reason Rockville Centre ascended to the top of the list has to do with the way the data is reported to include sales of single-family homes, condos and co-ops. Houses command higher prices in the village, and this year single-family home sales represented a larger percentage of all sales, at 70%. The shift in the mix of sales contributed to a higher median price.
Like much of Long Island, homes that hit the market tend to sell quickly, agents said. There were 43 listings on a recent Friday, including three condos, 17 co-op apartments and 23 houses. Prices ranged from $179,000 for a studio in a co-op building to $1.8 million for a four-bedroom, nearly 4,500-square-foot house.
“It’s been very tight. As soon as homes are coming on, they’re going.” said Elizabeth Byrne, a broker at Harms Real Estate and a 23-year resident of the village. “We’re a town of old homes. The majority of the homes were built between the 1920s and early 1950s. Regardless of their condition, they’re selling at higher price levels because of the lack of inventory.”
Charles Maione, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said he’s started to notice a change now that mortgage rates have risen above 7% again. The added expense of interest “makes homes more expensive and carves buyers out” who can no longer afford to buy, he said.
Median price first half of 2023: $607,500
Median price first half of 2022: $526,000
When Amber and Nick DiNozzi put their three-bedroom house on the market in August for $469,999, they expected to have no problem finding a buyer, but they were still overwhelmed by the response.
“The sheer amount of people who wanted to see the home … I was like, ‘Wow,’” Amber DiNozzi said. “I remember as a kid going to houses with my parents at one point, and I don’t think it was ever like this.”
The couple, both 36, listed the house on a Monday and estimated about 80 people came through over the course of a week. By Saturday of that week, they had accepted an offer, which was more than $25,000 above the asking price.
The DiNozzis are looking to move to a larger home with their two children. The family had outgrown the house, which is about 880 square feet plus a basement. The couple bought it in 2016 for $305,000. They plan to rent a house that better meets their needs, including more space for their children and a potentially shorter commute to Manhattan for Nick, before looking to buy again in Suffolk County.
“That’s where we’re stepping out in faith,” Nick DiNozzi said. “It’s definitely not ideal. Do we want to just settle and stay in a house that’s not working for us and meeting our needs just because we’re afraid or nervous that house prices or mortgage rates are going to go up too high? … I think we both have the peace knowing this is what’s going to be the best for us. If anything, it’s going to be an adventure.”
Bryan Karp, an associate broker at Coldwell Banker American Homes who listed the DiNozzis’ house, said he can remember when just a few years ago, there were 80 houses on the market in Lake Grove. In one recent search, there were just 22.
“In Lake Grove there is rarely ever new construction,” Karp said. “When there’s the opportunity of an all-fixed-up house or a house that’s been renovated, people jump toward it.”
The village benefits from its proximity to one of the Island’s largest employers in Stony Brook University and its hospital as well as highways and the Ronkonkoma station of the Long Island Rail Road. A new Wegmans supermarket is expected to open next year at the corner of Middle Country Road and Moriches Road.
Median price first half of 2023: $560,000
Median price first half of 2022: $490,000
When people choose Manorville, they’re typically looking for serenity and larger properties that sell for a fraction of what they would command either farther west in Nassau County or in the Hamptons, said Dawn Jordan, a real estate agent at First Hampton International Realty in Westhampton Beach.
Jordan said she sees home prices rising, particularly among lower-to-median priced homes “because the buyer pool is so large.”
The rise of remote work has helped boost the market in Manorville, which sits to the west of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens and is home to Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden.
The area was able to provide more of what buyers were looking for during the pandemic. “They wanted bigger homes, they wanted property, they wanted a pool [and] an office,” said Jordan, who has lived in Manorville for 24 years.
Buyers still have little leverage to ask sellers to make minor repairs because homeowners often have multiple offers to choose from.
“It’s tough on buyers,” Jordan said. “They need to understand when they go in you can’t be asking for little things to be done. You just have to move forward and take on the responsibility yourself to fix minor things.”
Median price first half of 2023: $685,000
Median price first half of 2022: $820,000
Great Neck saw the steepest decline in median price among Long Island communities with at least 50 sales, but the factors leading to that decline are tied, in part, to the way data is collected.
First, home sales data for Great Neck, as provided by Miller Samuel, includes all the villages in the broader Great Neck area. That combines sales of luxury homes in Kings Point village and Great Neck village with co-op apartments sold in Great Neck Plaza near the Long Island Rail Road station.
In addition, sales of less expensive co-ops and condos made up the majority of transactions in the Great Neck area during the first half of the year, pushing the median price lower.
When isolating only the 73 single-family home sales, the median price rose by 1% to about $1.4 million. The median price among 83 co-op sales rose 7.8% to $365,000. The area’s price decline was tied to the shift in the mix of properties sold.
Edna Mashaal, a real estate broker and owner of Edna Mashaal Realty in Great Neck, said competition in the market hasn’t let up. Even after mortgage rates rose, houses priced around $1 million often find a buyer within a week.
“Every time a house comes on the market there are multiple offers on it,” she said. “ … There’s so many buyers for every house. It’s a seller’s market.”
Median price first half of 2023: $578,200
Median price first half of 2022: $649,000
West Islip appears to be one place where climbing mortgage rates had a greater effect on home prices.
The South Shore community, where all but one of the properties sold in the first half of the year were single-family homes, saw the median price fall even as agents report a serious scarcity of homes on the market.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.44% during the first six months of 2023. During that period a year ago, the average was 4.5%. It was 7.19% for the week ending Sept. 21.
At one point in the past week there were only 26 houses for sale in West Islip, when before the pandemic, associate broker Irene Siconolfi, of Douglas Elliman, remembers there being about five times as many.
Asked about the drop in price, Siconolfi said buyers were more hesitant earlier this year as they adjusted to higher mortgage rates. She suspects the median price could rise in the latter part of the year.
“I feel like in the beginning of the year we were slow because people were just trying to digest it,” said Siconolfi, a West Islip resident. “Then they realized this is not going to get better, it’s going to get worse, so I’m just going to pull the trigger.”
But she hasn’t noticed much of a change in the market and buyers are still doing whatever they can to land a deal, including looking at adjustable-rate mortgages to lower their monthly payments or borrowing money from family to bring more cash to deals.
“I’ve been advising people, if the listing goes up on Monday and you think you’re going to an open house on a Saturday, good luck because it’s not going to last that long,” she said.
A wide disparity in home prices within the town could have contributed to the change in median price from last year. At the end of September, listings ranged from $419,500 for a three-bedroom, lender-owned property to $5.95 million for an 8,000-square-foot house on the Great South Bay with a private beach.
Median price first half of 2023: $872,500
Median price first half of 2022: $973,000
In Dix Hills, one of the highest-priced areas of western Suffolk County, both home prices and the number of transactions were lower in the first half of 2023 than during that six-month stretch a year earlier.
Nearly all sales in Dix Hills are of single-family homes, but it’s possible a shift in types of houses that were sold in the first half contributed to a lower median price.
Deepa Sachdev, a Dix Hills resident and associate broker at Exit Realty Achieve in Smithtown, said the inventory situation there is similar to the rest of Long Island. There were about half as many houses for sale this summer as there were in the past couple of years, she said.
There are “people wanting to sell, but then where do they go given they’re currently sitting on a mortgage with a very low and desirable interest rate,” she said. “They don’t feel like selling and then going somewhere where they will pay a lot more for a mortgage.”
Homeowners should be careful to seek prices that are reasonable based on other recent comparable sales, because buyers are savvy and have access to more data than ever on local home values, she said.
“You are starting to see some prices drop,” Sachdev said. “Some houses sit on the market for a lot longer than usual, but if a house is priced well and marketed well, there are a lot of buyers trying to buy it.”
The company intends to establish its presence in Miami by acquiring, improving, renovating, developing and selling commercial properties
Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Medigus Ltd. (Nasdaq: MDGS) (“Medigus” or the “Company”), a technology company engaged in a technology company engaged in innovative internet technologies, electric vehicle and charging solutions and advanced medical solutions , announced today it has signed an operating agreement with a US-based partner, specializing in acquiring, improving, renovating, developing and selling commercial properties in Miami (the “Partner”) for the formation of a joint venture (“JV”), that will purchase, renovate, manage and sell a commercial property in Miami, Florida, USA. The formation of the JV is contingent upon the property’s acquisition by mid-October.
The property consists of 3 parcels containing land of approximately 19,000 square feet which consists of a one 2-story building containing 9,000 square feet, and a one-story building containing 2,800 square feet. The property has additional development rights, and subject to approvals and permits, could result in additional stories.
The initial capital contribution paid by Medigus is $2 million and its initial percentage interest in the JV is 60%, while the Partner interest is 40%. According to the operating agreement, Medigus has full preference in the JV cash distribution, and once the initial contribution by Medigus has been fully repaid, Medigus’ interest in the JV will decrease to 30%.
Medigus intends to continue and explore additional opportunities in Miami for the purpose of acquiring, improving, renovating, further developing and selling the properties, directly or indirectly, through one or more of its subsidiaries.
According to PwC 2023 Emerging Trends in Real Estate survey, Miami, FL is ranked first in U.S office property and U.S retail property to buy, hold and sell recommendations, in addition to ranking second in U.S Industrial and Hotel properties to buy, hold and sell recommendations.
According to PropStream, Miami’s population is growing while unemployment declines, real estate costs are rising alongside greater availability while more corporations relocating to Miami and bringing more employees with them.
Based in Israel, Medigus Ltd. (Nasdaq: MDGS) is a technology company focused on innovative growth partnerships, engaged in innovative internet technologies, electric vehicle and charging solutions and advanced medical solutions. The Company’s affiliates in digital commerce include Gix Internet Ltd., Jeffs’ Brands Ltd. and Eventer Technologies Ltd. In the electric vehicle market, Charging Robotics Ltd. and Revoltz Ltd. by way of Fuel Doctor Holdings, Inc., and ParaZero Ltd. are also part of the Company’s portfolio of technology solution providers. Medigus’ affiliation in the medical solutions arena includes ownership in Polyrizon Ltd.. Medigus is traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market. To learn more about Medigus’ advanced technologies, please visit http://www.medigus.com/.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other Federal securities laws. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions or variations of such words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Because such statements deal with future events and are based on Medigus’ current expectations, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties, and actual results, performance or achievements of Medigus could differ materially from those described in or implied by the statements in this press release. For example, Medigus uses forward looking statements when it discusses its intention to investigate further opportunities in the Miami market and when it refers the expected acquisition of the property under the operating agreement and its potential prospects.
The forward-looking statements contained or implied in this press release are subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in any filings with the SEC. Except as otherwise required by law, Medigus undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. References and links to websites have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release. Medigus is not responsible for the contents of third-party websites.th
Chief Financial Officer
Copyright 2023 GlobeNewswire, Inc.
In an era of escalating digital interconnectivity within industrial systems, ensuring the security of critical operations has become paramount. Recognising the vulnerability of industrial control systems to cyber threats, Bureau Veritas, a leader in testing, inspection, and certification services, offers its specialised expertise to UK companies operating in a complex supply chain landscape with IEC 62443 consultancy services.
Industrial control systems hold a pivotal role in managing essential operations, rendering them vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches. Addressing this concern, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) introduced the IEC 62443 series of standards as a proactive approach to safeguard cybersecurity for industrial automation and control systems.
The IEC 62443 family of standards emerges as this foundational framework, offering common language, methodologies, and requirements that facilitate collaboration across diverse industrial sectors. Notably, IEC 62443 has been adopted as the basis for various sector-specific schemes such as TS 50701 for railways and UR E27 for marine.
It provides organisations with a systematic approach to bolster their cybersecurity infrastructure against evolving threats which requires assessment, testing, and certifying the cybersecurity of industrial environments, systems, and products.
Whilst IEC 62443 compliance is not mandatory, it is swiftly becoming the accepted standard for ensuring the resilience of these vital systems. The framework conformity is transitioning from a market differentiator to a market requirement, supporting organisations across sectors including power and utilities, energy distribution, oil and gas, chemicals, rail, mining, and other industrial automation domains.
The complexities of adhering to IEC 62443 standards however present distinct challenges for producers of industrial connected systems and components, solutions suppliers, and industrial asset operators. Recognising these challenges, Bureau Veritas extends expert consultation services to help navigate the intricacies of IEC 62443 certification.
Combining expertise, knowledge, and a global presence to provide dependable services. Its specialised team assists in overcoming key challenges, including:
- Interpreting the applicability of IEC 62443 standards to your business and products.
- Identifying standards dependencies at different levels.
- Determining the most suitable level of maturity or security for businesses.
- Navigating the certification process.
- Comprehensive IEC 62443 Services.
For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.
The Autumn 2023 issue of Energy Global hosts an array of technical articles focusing on green hydrogen, wind installation technology, blade monitoring solutions, and more. This issue also features a regional report looking at some key renewables projects in Australia.
Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/special-reports/28092023/bureau-veritas-offers-consultancy-services-to-enhance-cybersecurity/
I confess: I’m a Star Trek nerd — and commodities enthusiast, too. Thus, asteroid mining should be my personal heaven. On Sunday, I watched with the excitement of a five-year old how a NASA space probe brought back the largest-ever stash of asteroid rubble to Earth. But was this feat a step closer to commercial space mining? Not even close.
Asteroid mining companies always promise the stars: Handsome profits await galactic prospectors who can bring gold, copper and other minerals from outer space. The treasure would help expedite the green energy transition by boosting the supply of critical metals, these supportrs claim — with some even proclaiming that the first trillionaire will be an asteroid-mining tycoon.
Back on planet Earth, what really awaits is (pardon the pun) out-of-this-world costs. Even if the industry can eventually cut expenses and jump over technological hurdles, asteroid mining will remain commercial science fiction for some time.
Consider the OSIRIS-REx space mission, the little probe I viewed that — after an incredible 4 billion-mile seven-year roundtrip — released a capsule in the Utah desert bearing a sample from asteroid 101955 Bennu. This technological triumph will, I hope, inspire more children to enthusiastically pursue science. But at a cost of $1.1 billion, including launch and operation, the unmanned spacecraft wasn’t a bargain.
If the capsule contains the expected 250 grams of extraterrestrial dirt, the retrieval cost would come to about $4.4 million a gram. Nothing to complain about as researchers attempt to answer questions like why life developed on Earth. But it’s enough to bankrupt any commercial mining operation several times over.
Compare this with the earthly price of several commodities. Gold now trades at about $1,900 a troy ounce. To make a venture such as the OSIRIS-REx break even, the yellow metal would need to surge to $268 million.
And that would be assuming all the extraterrestrial dirt was pure gold — and, well, that’s unlikely. If only half of the asteroid were made up of that, the metal would need to trade at $536 million a troy ounce to break even, and so on.
The numbers are so staggering that I should just stop here.
But let’s consider an extremely expensive specialty metal, something comparable to the unobtainium from Hollywood-movie Avatar — but real. Iridium fits the bill. The transition metal, used in crucibles to manufacture chips and some rare alloys, changes hands at about $4,650 a troy ounce. To put it graphically, if a recipe asked for a teaspoon of iridium (please, don’t use it for cooking), it would need about $650 worth. In the commodities world, it’s among the priciest metals out there. Yet, for asteroid mining, it remains stupendously cheap. Using the OSIRIS-REx again as a yardstick, it would need to jump to about 140,000-fold for the industry to break even. In teaspoons, that comes to about $84 million.
Sure enough, costs may drop. At least that’s the main storyline the industry has pushed for the past decade. Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, two now-defunct wannabe asteroid-mining companies, bet on it in 2012. It didn’t work, though, despite the headline-grabbing prominence of some backers, including Titanic filmmaker James Cameron and Google co-founder Larry Page.
Since then, other companies have tried to make beyond-Earth mining profitable. The cost of launching probes is surely coming down but largely for satellites in orbits close to our planet. Asteroid mining requires spacecraft traveling far beyond. Voyages don’t last a few hours; they’re measured in months, if not years. And that’s only halfway. Then the probes need to land on their designated targets and retrieve the cargo. Much, if not most, of the rubble would be worthless. The collection still needs to be transported and delivered back to Earth.
One way to solve the expense conundrum would be by selecting, processing and refining the minerals in orbit, returning only pure metals to Earth. A new startup, AstroForge, is promising that route. I doubt it would work commercially. The technological demands are extensive — and certainly would take decades, not years, to resolve them.
Asteroid mining only works in a science-fiction world where metals are thousands of times more expensive than they are today. And in that world, plenty of metal deposits on Earth could be developed more economically. True, we can point to many industries where innovation has changed our way of life, reducing costs and solving incredible technological barriers. Think about aviation in the last 100 years, for example. But only over such time scenarios can this type of mining not look like a flimflam.
More From Bloomberg Opinion:
A bizarre job advertisement for a property inspector has been shared online, with many questioning its legitimacy.
The advertisement, for a rental property inspector position with National Rental Inspections (NRI) in Victoria, was posted on Seek last week and lists requirements such as owning “a car that works 96 per cent of the time” and being “able to pay to put fuel in it”.
A sense of humour was also listed as a requirement, alongside owning an iPad “that works” and having a “minor interest in real estate.
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Applicants were also advised they must “be able to alphabet, sentance, punctuate and grammar way better than me, i dont need to, i have staff….(sic)”.
No experience is required for the job, with training provided.
While the advertisement said hours could be built around your family life, “this is not school hours”.
“We can work around your family, but you cannot have three months off over Christmas and two weeks off every other month for school holidays,” the listing said.
“We are actually very awesome to work with/for and have an amazing team but we are just growing and need more inspectors.”
Social media users were unsure about the advertisement’s legitimacy, with one user saying: “This has to be satire, surely?”
Others said they thought such a role would usually be filled by real estate agents.
“I note there is no requirement to know and understand tenancy laws,” one person said.
“This is like a ‘comedy’ sketch, but where nothing is funny,” another person said.
Amid a national housing crisis, many raised concerns about the outsourcing of this role to a third-party provider and about a contractor unknowingly entering their home.
While real estate agents must have a real estate licence, they are permitted to bring a third party onto the property for a purpose such as photography or valuation, according to a Consumer Affairs Victoria spokesperson.
No licence required
An agent’s representative can perform any of the legal functions of that estate agent in Victoria with written authority.
The representative does not need to apply for a licence, but their employer must verify they are eligible to be an agent’s representative.
The education requirements to work as an agent’s representative vary depending on the person’s experience in the industry, but can include up to 15 units of study towards a certificate in Real Estate Practice.
To be an agent’s representative, a police check is also required and being found guilty of fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violent offences may impact eligibility.
An agent’s representative must be at least 18 years old and must not be insolvent under administration, not be the cause of a successful claim against the Victorian Property Fund or a corresponding fund and not be a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986.
They also must not be subject to a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal declaration making them ineligible, and not the subject of an order by any regulatory body in or outside Victoria that would disqualify them.
NRI is an independent property inspection service, operating across the country.
A spokesperson for the NRI confirmed the job’s legitimacy, and also that it had previously been posted.
When asked how many agencies the organisation worked for and how many properties were inspected, the NRI spokesperson said that information was “privileged”.
The listing said NRI completed more than 50,000 inspections last year.
The kind of training provided to staff was also “privileged”.
SPRINGFIELD – House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, has filed legislation that would, for the first time in Illinois, authorize legislative staff to form a union and engage in collective bargaining.
House Bill 4148, creating the Legislative Employee Labor Relations Act, comes in response to a monthslong effort by Democratic staff in the speaker’s office to unionize and negotiate wages, hours and other working conditions.
“For a while now, I had some staff approach my office seeking voluntary recognition as a union,” Welch said in an interview Wednesday. “And my legal advisors advised me that Illinois law currently specifically prohibits that. So as someone who believes in workers’ rights, this legislation is my attempt to create a legal path for them to have that right.”
Last year, a group of workers in the speaker’s office formed the Illinois Legislative Staff Association, which has been seeking recognition as a union. Brady Burden, a member of that group’s organizing committee, said in an email Wednesday that the committee was scheduled to meet with management in the speaker’s office later that day.
“We are happy to see the Speaker file this bill,” Burden said in a statement after that meeting. “We look forward to working together in good faith and coming to an agreement.”
In Illinois, private-sector unions are governed by the National Labor Relations Board while public-sector unions are governed by the Illinois Labor Relations Board. But the law creating that board and outlining its powers specifically excludes employees of the General Assembly from the definition of “public employee.”
Last year, however, the General Assembly passed, and Illinois voters approved, a Workers’ Rights Amendment to the state constitution that that declares employees “shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.”
But Michael LeRoy, a labor law expert at the University of Illinois, said earlier this month that the wording of that amendment could be construed as vague, and it wasn’t clear whether it would apply retroactively to public employees that were already legally barred from unionizing.
As a result, the Illinois Legislative Staff Association had been asking Welch’s office to voluntarily recognize their union. Welch’s comments Wednesday indicated his legal advisors did not believe that was authorized under law.
HB 4148, however, would specifically authorize legislative staff to unionize and it would give the ILRB jurisdiction over collective bargaining matters for staff unions, including authority to conduct elections within employee groups seeking to unionize.
It would establish an Office of State Legislative Labor Relations to represent the General Assembly in collective bargaining with legislative staff. That office would have a director appointed by a Joint Committee on Legislative Support Services.
The bill provides that the General Assembly is not required to bargain over matters of “inherent managerial policy,” including the General Assembly’s budget, organizational structure, and hiring of new employees.
It also provides that any employee in a group represented by a union may be required to pay a “fair- share” fee to cover their proportionate share of the costs of collective bargaining, regardless of whether they choose to join the union.
Until 2018, Illinois government employees who benefitted from the bargaining of the AFSCME Council 31 public employee union were subject to such fair-share fees if they did not join the union. The state stopped collecting those fees in that year, however, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that the fees violated the First Amendment rights of individuals who did not want to join the union.
Welch said he intends to push for the bill’s passage in the upcoming fall veto session, which begins Oct. 24.
A spokesperson for Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ATLANTIC CITY — Jerry Volpe, a purchasing consultant to the troubled Atlantic City Housing Authority, may get another increase in the amount of money he will be paid for his services at Thursday’s board meeting.
Volpe’s company Governance & Fiscal Affairs LLC has been paid more than $400,000 for a year’s work in handling procurement for the agency.
His work was criticized by former Housing Authority Executive Director Matt Doherty at a public board meeting last month, and two weeks later the board fired Doherty.
On Thursday’s agenda is a resolution for a change order on the contract with Volpe, presumably to increase the cap on how much he can be paid for his services. Currently it is capped at $460,000.
The authority has not provided a copy of the resolution after multiple requests, but Volpe is known to be approaching the maximum in his contract.
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Volpe declined comment on Thursday’s meeting.
The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the All Wars Memorial Building at 1510 Adriatic Ave.
The agenda also says the authority board will consider a new management consultant contract for John Clarke’s Sunbelt Industries and outline plans for the future of Stanley Holmes Village, over which the authority is being sued by residents for poor living conditions.
Clarke was interim executive director under a previous contract with the board from August 2022 to May, when Doherty arrived. He stayed on as a consultant through Aug. 11.
It was during Clarke’s tenure that the city declared an emergency at Stanley Holmes Village due to lack of heat and hot water and the inability of the authority to provide basic services like trash pickup.
At the time, Clarke was also executive director of the New Brunswick Housing Authority and interim executive director of the Princeton Housing Authority. He spent much less time working for the Atlantic City authority than the minimum of 20 hours per week he had promised to spend in his contract.
An analysis of Sunbelt’s billing invoices revealed Clarke did not meet that threshold in 31 of the 38 weeks he served as interim leader. At least four of those weeks, he dedicated less than five hours to the Housing Authority, including one in which he logged zero hours.
Clarke recently retired from the New Brunswick job.
There also are resolutions to hire an auditor and a mold remediation company.
More than a week ago, Volpe had said he would hold a news conference within days to outline the fraud he has found at the authority, but that did not happen.
At the same time Volpe has been handling procurement, the authority has run into problems related to its procurement practices.
Two weeks after the new Atlantic City Housing Authority executive director slammed the agency over its procurement practices over the past year, the authority board is now preparing to terminate his contract only months after Matthew Doherty began in the job.
In June, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered the authority to stop using emergency contracts, which are awarded without competition. That required the stoppage of much of the work going on to fix problems with disintegrating gas lines, mold and pest removal, and other repairs.
Doherty, who started with the authority in May, was fired by the board in a 4-1 vote early this month. None of those who voted to oust him commented on why they did so, saying only that it was “for convenience.”
Doherty had said Volpe’s failure to go out to bid for an auditor, after saying he would do so, resulted in the authority missing a deadline for submitting an audit and being listed as “troubled” financially by HUD.
Asked about the failure to issue requests for proposals for an auditor, Volpe said he had asked for and never received specifications for what to require of an auditor.
Doherty also said Volpe had told him via email he would go out to bid on a new heat and hot water system for Stanley Holmes Village, where heat and hot water have routinely failed. But Volpe never sought those bids either.
Now, the old system will have to be used for another year, and more failures are likely.
Volpe has said the executive committee of the board told him not to go to bid on the new heat and hot water system.
Volpe has run Governance & Fiscal Affairs since 2002.
Matt Doherty was terminated with 120 days’ notice at a special meeting Thursday night, after just four months on the job trying to turn around an agency that has been unable to provide basics such as heat and hot water to many residents.
In 1999, he was barred from working with any federally insured credit union by a government agency responsible for regulating federal credit unions and protecting its members.
He was the former manager of the Jersey Metro Federal Credit Union in Passaic County when he signed a stipulation and consent order with the National Credit Union Administration, according to NCUA documents.
Volpe agreed to be “prohibited from further participation, in any manner, in the conduct of the affairs of any federally insured credit union.”
Asked about it recently, Volpe said he signed the order to end the cost of litigation, and denied wrongdoing.
“It was a civil matter, having nothing to do with the Housing Authority. It had nothing to do with purchasing,” Volpe said. “I uncovered monumental fraud, like I do at the Atlantic City Housing Authority. I am a whistleblower. I am whistleblowing at the ACHA.”
But the NCUA said it had information that penalties were in order.
“The NCUA, based upon information reported to it, is of the opinion that grounds exist to initiate an administrative prohibition/civil money penalty proceeding against Gerald F. Volpe,” said the order dated May 28, 1999. “Gerald F. Volpe denies that such grounds exist, but desires to avoid the time, cost and expense of such administrative litigation and, without admitting that such grounds exist, hereby stipulates and agrees to the following terms in consideration of the forbearance of the NCUA from initiating such administrative litigation against him.”
The order contains no details of what type of wrongdoing was suspected or found.
John Clarke, who has been an interim part-time executive director and consultant for the Atlantic City Housing Authority, has retired from his job leading New Brunswick’s housing authority, he said Thursday.
While leading the credit union, Volpe said he had helped put its former president and vice president in jail for fraudulent activities there. But he said the NCUA eventually took it over and then balked at paying Volpe the more than $1 million owed to him upon termination. It was part of a “golden parachute” he negotiated in his employment contract, he said.
The NCUA said Jersey Metro, once called SKD Federal Credit Union, is no longer in business.
The 1999 censure did not affect Volpe’s ability to get government work.
Volpe has been an adjunct professor at Rutgers University teaching procurement classes and municipal finance, his resume says, and worked for both the Passaic County and Hudson County sheriff’s offices. He also was the purchasing agent for Passaic County from 2001 to 2008.
REPORTER: Michelle Brunetti Post
Sierra Space secured some significant dough during its latest funding round. The company says it will now allocate these funds towards the development of its commercial space station and other orbital tech.
Sierra Space Corporation, a commercial space company that splintered from Sierra Nevada Corporation in 2021, announced on Tuesday that it raised $290 million in its recent Series B funding round. This latest influx brings the company’s total investments to a staggering $1.7 billion across two rounds, setting what Sierra Space describes as an “industry record for combined Series A and B raises,” according to a company press release.
The funding round was co-led by a Japanese strategic partnership, a group of companies that includes MUFG Bank, Kanematsu, and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, underscoring Sierra Space’s growing influence in Japan. The company’s CEO, Tom Vice, is understandably stoked about the strengthened ties, stating, “Sierra Space is excited to create a long-term strategic relationship with our Japanese investors and industry partners.”
The funds are earmarked for several ambitious projects. Sierra Space has been plugging away on a commercial space station for the past five years and expects to undertake full-scale testing by the end of 2023. According to the company, Sierra Space’s valuation now stands at $5.3 billion, a notable figure for a firm that has yet to send its Dream Chaser spacecraft to orbit.
Dream Chaser is an in-development spaceplane for missions to low Earth orbit, transporting crew and cargo to destinations like the International Space Station (ISS). Capable of carrying up to 12,000 pounds (5,443 kilograms) of cargo, the spaceplane requires ULA’s yet-to-fly Vulcan Centaur rocket for launches and will be capable of performing atmospheric reentry and runway landings, reminiscent of NASA’s Space Shuttle. Dream Chaser will come in three variants, catering to cargo transport, crewed missions, and national security space requirements.
The company is targeting early 2024 for Dream Chaser’s inaugural flight from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, under a supply mission contract with NASA to the ISS; the company is currently booked for several resupply missions to the orbital lab, which is set to retire in 2029. Sierra Space’s plans don’t stop at cargo, however; the company’s vision includes launches of crewed Dream Chaser missions to its proprietary space station, Orbital Reef—a project co-developed with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Crewed treks to space aboard Dream Chaser aren’t expected until the back half of the 2020s.
Sierra Space’s presence in Japan appears to be gaining momentum. The company is exploring Oita Airport as a potential landing site for Dream Chaser, in partnership with Oita Prefecture, Kanematsu, and Japan Airlines. Additionally, a growing collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries aims to develop a range of technologies for orbit and on-orbit operations.
The recent investment surge in Sierra Space comes amid adjustments in the space capital markets, following the 2021 SPAC frenzy. With $3.4 billion in active contracts and a clear vision for the future, Sierra Space seems well-positioned to achieve its lofty goals in the evolving and tumultuous space industry.